Chapter 785 – A Large Tree’s Good for Shade and Shelter
Qian Liangmu offered up the alcohol, but he was very confused. Why did all of them ask about the jar of alcohol? Sure, the alcohol might have been precious, but it was nothing special given the height at which they stood, whether it was the Myriad Poison Ancestor or the King of Southern Yue.
In reality, ever since the King of Southern Yue became the provincial lord, he rarely ever received such an ordinary gift. He fiddled around with the jar of alcohol in contemplation.
“What do you think, fellow?”
The Great Banyan Tree King in the pot swayed gently. He said with his ancient voice, “I also happen to be familiar with this child. We normally refer to one another as fellows.”
Qian Liangmu was dumbfounded. He referred to the Great Banyan Tree King as “fellow”?
The woman was surprised too. The Great Banyan Tree King was mellow in nature, but with his identity and cultivation, no one was arrogant enough to refer to him as “fellow”. He might not get angry, but just how many fellows were there in the world that he truly recognised?
“No wonder he’s bold enough to come to my Mist province. So he’s seeking shade and shelter from under the tree,” the King of Southern Yue said.
The Great Banyan Tree King regularly maintained his neutrality and never gave advice. He would only analyse the situation and let people make their own decisions. Rarely did he ever directly express that he favoured someone.
“I’m merely establishing a good tie of friendship. It’s not exactly sheltering just yet. If you’ve finished thinking, then make your move!”
The Great Banyan Tree King obviously would not divulge Li Qingshan’s secrets to the King of Southern Yue, but on the other hand, he would not tell Li Qingshan about what went on among them. This was his principle, which was why he did not analyse certain situations.
However, what he was implying was very clear. I’m not sheltering him. I just feel that if you move against him, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. As for how to handle this, that’s still up to you to decide.
The King of Southern Yue fell silent for a moment. Suddenly, he opened the seal on the jar and drank all the alcohol.
He placed down his white chess piece, giving up on the opportunity to take. Instead, he reset the circumstances and began building up another plan.
In that moment, Qian Liangmu seemed to understand the symbolism behind the jar of alcohol. Disbelief filled his face.
The jar of alcohol was not a gift to please or amuse the King of Southern Yue, nor was it an active move to make peace. Instead, its meaning could be summed up with four words—due respect as equals!
It was not that Qian Liangmu was not clever enough, but this matter was simply inconceivable. He had placed Li Qingshan on a very high pedestal, but nowhere near that high. The most inconceivable part of it all was the King of Southern Yue actually accepted the jar of alcohol.
No wonder master lost his temper. Li Qingshan only gifted a single jar of alcohol in total. He clearly wasn’t taking him seriously. He didn’t even want to befriend him, let alone become a protector.
Qian Liangmu took his leave. He wondered how he was supposed to explain this to the Myriad Poison Ancestor. Though, just the fact that the Great Banyan Tree King refers to him as ‘fellow’ is enough for master to reconsider. Just who is this Li Qingshan? Isn’t he from the Green province? How does he have ties with the Great Banyan Tree King? This makes no sense at all.
The King of Southern Yue’s decision was not only because of what the Great Banyan Tree King had said—the Great Banyan Tree King possessed a great status, but it was still not enough to sway his thoughts—but also because of various other factors. The situation right now was not suited for declaring war against the Green province.
Li Qingshan also expressed the position he would be taking. He would not be getting involved in the war between the two provinces because of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga.
Of course, this guarantee meant nothing to the King of Southern Yue. When the two provinces actually went to war, he refused to believe that Li Qingshan could remain uninvolved.
As a third heavenly tribulation cultivator, was he really willing to become involved in conflict too? Did he really sympathise with the hatred passed down from his ancestors, even making him lose his rationality? Compared to that, he would much rather remain here, playing chess and admiring the flowers, focusing on cultivation.
However, as someone who lived in this world, could he really remain shut off from the world, all alone? He would definitely be bound by his various relationships, his friends, his lovers, his children, and his enemies, which would lead to endless conflict.
Those who only tried to avoid conflict and did not prepare for battle would definitely lose all of their peace.
If that’s the move he makes, there’ll still be quite a lot of trouble for him. There aren’t a lot of banyan trees in the south, and the Myriad Poison Ancestor is not a forgiving and tolerant person. I’ll wait and see how he makes his next move.
The King of Southern Yue thought and made a few more moves. The Great Banyan Tree King had always been better at chess than him, and he was distracted, so the situation for the white pieces on the board spiralled out of control. The great dragon was about to be slaughtered by the black pieces.
The woman clapped her hands and smiled. “Grandfather banyan tree is going to win.”
“This game doesn’t count. I was distracted.” The King of Southern Yue swung his hand and stirred up the pieces on the board.
“Lingzhi, you’re refusing to admit defeat again. You have no sense of shame,” said the woman.
“If you’re so hung up over the outcome of a game, a battle over the few inches of a chessboard, then what about the outcome of fate, a battle over several tens of thousand kilometers?” The King of Southern Yue tapped the chessboard and produced thunks.
“You can stop bickering. You’ve never been honest, and you’ve always been awful at chess. Grandfather banyan tree is far more distracted than you.” The woman refused to accept that and uncovered the King of Southern Yue’s distasteful past mercilessly.
“What can I do about the fact that I’m called Lingzhi? I’ll obviously never accept defeat!” The King of Southern Yue smiled.
The Great Banyan Tree King smiled silently. As the woman had said, his mind was split into thousands of fragments, listening to countless voices and witnessing the rise and fall of countless.
It was always a repeated display of the vicissitudes of life, of love and hatred, but when he contemplated it carefully, they varied from one another in a thousand different ways. They were like thousands of specks of stars gathering in his mind as a sea of stars. He had never felt weary because of his lengthy life. There were still many, many matters he had to think about and questions he could not answer.
When he played against the King of Southern Yue, he was talking with Li Qingshan at the same time. Of course, he stuck to his principle as a tree and disclosed nothing. Everything was up to Li Qingshan to discover for himself.
“Fellow, are you ready?”
Li Qingshan asked from a branch on a tree in the Asura Field. He had already decided to move the Great Banyan Tree King to Savage mountain. He had already moved all the night roamers out of the Asura Field.
“Then please come out yourself. I really can’t move you.”
Li Qingshan waved his hand, and a blood-red swirl appeared above the Great Banyan Tree King, expanding to several hundred times its size in the blink of an eye.
The ground rumbled, and the Great Banyan Tree King rose up slowly, flying towards the blood-red swirl with thousands of tonnes of soil. He gradually vanished into the vortex.
A similar vortex appeared in the valley of Savage mountain. The Great Banyan Tree King’s colossal figure gradually emerged, his verdant canopy like a green cloud, blotting out the sun and the sky.
All of the night roamers watched this unfold, experiencing emotions from the bottom of their hearts.
Yu Wufeng, the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber, and the other cave masters struggled to hide their shock, as the Great Banyan Tree King was located in the centre of the Mist province, and it was rare for any of his cuttings to reach the south. They had only heard about him before. They had not seen him with their own eyes.
They could not help but sigh in amazement inside, So this is the Great Banyan Tree King!
Ghost Shadow was basically the one who understood the Great Banyan Tree King the most out of everyone present. He felt the shaking become more and more violent. Currently, he stared at Li Qingshan who stood on the branches.
When Ye Liusu first told him that Li Qingshan and the Great Banyan Tree King referred to each other as fellows, he had been filled with doubt. Only when he witnessed them talk one day did he confirm this reality. As a result, he stopped thinking about resisting. Like Yu Wufeng, he began behaving himself. He cultivated in peace, waiting for the day when Li Qingshan showed mercy.
“A little more to the east. Yep, yep, a little closer to the main peak. Be careful, don’t fall over, sir! Alright, alright, alright, land, land!” Li Qingshan instructed as the Great Banyan Tree King adjusted his position.
With a great rumble, the Great Banyan Tree King landed slowly, right in the centre of the valley, on the land where the city once stood. Afterwards, his roots deeply penetrated the ground.
If being called “fellow” by the Great Banyan Tree King had already left everyone surprised, then if he had voiced his actual thoughts about Li Qingshan, even the King of Southern Yue would probably be in disbelief.
Li Qingshan purposefully avoided many topics, but whenever they talked, there would still be traces that the Great Banyan Tree King noticed. Afterwards, through the assembling and analysis through his wisdom, he received an answer that left him stunned for a very long time.
Who is waiting for him beyond the distant Nine Heavens?
“Are you satisfied with this place, sir?” Li Qingshan asked the Great Banyan Tree King.
“It’s all thanks to you that I could return to the Mist province and even have such a great place to cultivate in.”
The Great Banyan Tree King thanked Li Qingshan. Although this was merely one of his numerous clones, being rooted to a blessed land like this still brought benefit to his cultivation.
“There’s no need to be so polite, but I do have one small request. Please preside over the formations of Savage mountain from now onwards.”
Li Qingshan clasped his hands. He wanted to establish a base in Savage mountain, which would be convenient for his operations in the south.
Although he had cast down a few formations of extraordinary power, these formations were not on the level where he could use them the moment he took them out anymore. If he wanted to unleash their full power, he had to possess quite the understanding over formations, but that required a large amount of time to develop. Even with Xiao An’s intelligence and talent, it was not something she could accomplish overnight.
Moreover, it was impossible for Xiao An and him to remain in Savage mountain the entire time. If there was no one presiding over the formations, their power would decline further. Right now, all of his opponents lurking in the dark were third heavenly tribulation cultivators. These formations would struggle to keep them busy for too long.
“I’m just a tree. Offering shade is my nature, but as for presiding over formations…” The Great Banyan Tree King was troubled. He had always maintained his neutrality, refusing to become involved in anything.
“You told me to come to the Mist province to get along with me, so I fell out with that old dragon in the Green province. I’m a Daemon Commander under your command now, so don’t you have to look out for me a little? If someone barges in here, my identity will be exposed immediately. If news makes it out, that old dragon will even rush over here to kill me. By then, are you really going to stay out of this?” Li Qingshan poked fun at him.
“Kid, you… Fine then!”
The Great Banyan Tree King smiled wryly. Under his control, the formations paused for a moment. The inscriptions flashed and vanished in the air before operating once again. They became interlinked, functioning together as a whole.
From the outside, the mist that enveloped Savage mountain became even denser, but it was still possible to see the sky outside from the mountain.
“Great king, if you have any requests in the future, let me know. If an insect is annoying you, I’ll cut it down.”
Li Qingshan smiled and completely relaxed. Just like that, there was no need for him to worry about anything. Even if the King of Southern Yue attacked them, he could forget about getting through the formations easily.
“I don’t think I can afford to be called ‘great king’ by you. It’ll shorten my lifespan!” the Great Banyan Tree King said in exasperation.
“Your lifespan is plenty long anyway, sir, so you don’t need to worry even if you lose a few years.”
Yu Wufeng and everyone else in the surroundings were already left completely speechless.