Chapter 818 – A Dream in the Mirage
The second floor… the fifth floor… the tenth floor…
Li Qingshan climbed up the building and encountered all sorts of different enemies along the way. All of them were from his imagination, and they grew stronger as he climbed up. After reaching the thirteenth floor, he could no longer defeat them with ease, but he did not mind at all. He used his abilities and might, growing bolder with each fight and having the time of his life.
Xiao An watched over him as he climbed up. Deep worry filled her eyes. Hopefully… it’s not like what I think it is.
With a great rumble, the steel monster was smashed to pieces, and the door to the next floor swung open.
“Xiao An, what floor is this?”
Li Qingshan gasped for air as his wounds slowly closed up. The enemies were becoming stronger and stronger, and he began to struggle as well.
“The ninety-ninth floor, but if you look at the height of this place, the next floor should be the top,” Xiao An said quietly.
“Really? But I’m just getting started! Don’t tell me this game is actually called ‘If you’re a man, then climb up a hundred floors’? Let’s go!” Li Qingshan joked and flew up to the hundredth floor of the Clam building.
TL: ‘If you’re a man, then climb up a hundred floors’ seems to be a Chinese book.
Long, coloured curtains hung down from the ceiling in the quiet palace. Great gusts of wind gushed in from the openings on all sides, making the curtains drift about. Their colours wove together and brushed past Li Qingshan’s face. Then he caught a faint, exotic scent. A censer produced wisps of smoke, which the winds failed to disperse, coiling through the palace like mist.
Li Qingshan told Xiao An to be careful as he cautiously made his way to the centre of the palace.
Xiao An gazed at him from behind and frowned slightly. The Clam building plunged deep into the murky clouds, so there was no concept of height to speak of. This was still an illusion.
Li Qingshan saw a colourful figure very soon, standing with her back towards them and drinking alone.
“Fellow, are you perhaps the Clam King of Mirage Sea?” Li Qingshan bowed and asked a probing question.
“I am! Please take a seat! I’ve been waiting for quite some time now,” the Clam King of Mirage Sea swung her hand and said without looking back. It was as if she was not discontent with how Li Qingshan called her ‘fellow’.
With some caution, Li Qingshan made his way around the Clam King of Mirage Sea, and a face as beautiful as a dream appeared before him. He thought, Sure enough, it’s a woman!
However, because he was currently in an illusion, he was uncertain whether what he saw was real or fake, so he just sat down beside the Clam King of Mirage Sea. Xiao An stood beside him and studied this legendary Clam King of Mirage Sea.
Before Li Qingshan could even say anything, the Clam King of Mirage Sea said, “You want my help with something. Is it for Myriad Poison?” Her gaze swept past Xiao An, perhaps intentionally.
“That’s right. Only you can help me with this, fellow.” Li Qingshan clasped his hands.
“Alright!” The Clam King of Mirage Sea smiled and stood up, arriving before Li Qingshan and extending her hand towards his head.
Li Qingshan raised his eyebrows and tensed up. He clenched his fist, like a vicious tiger poised to strike.
Xiao An suddenly pressed down on his shoulder, leaving Li Qingshan slightly surprised. Out of his trust for her and the fact that the spirit turtle gave no warnings, he sat still.
The Clam King of Mirage Sea’s hand entered Li Qingshan’s forehead extremely gently, like she was extending her hand into a pool of water. She produced a colourful ripple before soon pulling out a jade-green soul nascence.
The soul nascence that was shaped like an infant currently had its eyes closed, slumbering away. It did not put up any resistance at all.
Li Qingshan touched his head, only to discover that it was completely fine. He could not help but be amazed. That was simply unbelievable. Even something that the Great Banyan Tree King found to be troublesome had been resolved with such ease by her.
“This is just my specialisation.” The Clam King of Mirage Sea seemed to read Li Qingshan’s thoughts and smiled.
She sat back down again and picked up a cup of wine, toasting it at him from afar.
“Thank you, fellow.” Li Qingshan rejoiced inside, also picking up his cup. He was about to drink it all.
“Qingshan.” Xiao An pressed down on his shoulder again. Earlier, it was to stop him from fighting, but now, it was to stop him from drinking the alcohol.
Li Qingshan looked at Xiao An in surprise. Xiao An bowed towards the Clam King of Mirage Sea. “Thank you for your hospitality, but we still have other matters to attend to, so we should be going.”
“We still have to drink together, don’t we?” The Clam King of Mirage Sea fiddled around with the Myriad Poison Ancestor’s soul nascence as her smile fluctuated.
“Haha, we’ll definitely have the opportunity in the future, but we really do have something urgent to attend to. Thank you for that, fellow. We’ll be leaving first…”
Li Qingshan also felt that something was amiss and stood up. At this moment, the spirit turtle actually sent him a strong warning, but before he could do anything else, he felt the world spin around him. He suddenly looked at the censer in the surroundings. “The incense is poisoned!”
But that made no sense. Even the Myriad Poison Ancestor’s poison could not kill him, so let alone breathing in some smoke.
His body swayed and sat back down, leaning on the table and snoring away.
“But it’s fine even if you don’t drink.” The Clam King of Mirage Sea took a slow sip, and her appearance suddenly blurred. It was like a thick layer of frosted glass had covered her face. Her voice became distant as well, no longer possible to tell her gender or age from it.
Only a pair of eyes remained clear. The blend of colours swirled and rippled in them like a kaleidoscope as she looked at Xiao An.
“What are you trying to do?” Xiao An stood in front of Li Qingshan with her sword, completely unaffected by the smoke.
“You sure are strange! Hehe, can’t you tell what I’m trying to do? The Mirage sea is such a dangerous place, so how can people come and go as they please? Even he doesn’t believe this is so simple, constantly remaining vigilant, so of course it’s not going to be that simple. They all say that the illusions I create can prey on cultivators!” The Clam King of Mirage Sea licked her lips.
“Because that’s what he thinks?”
The thing that Xiao An worried about the most finally happened.
The Myriad Poison Ancestor’s soul nascence had been resolved so easily because the month-long indoctrination by the Great Banyan Tree King had made Li Qingshan believe the Clam King of Mirage Sea would help him.
However, seeing the true face of the Mirage sea and reaching an ominous result through divination made him raise his guard and develop hostility. The hostility fed off almost a hundred floors of fighting too, making it grow.
If this were the real world, then these thoughts would be nothing. Even parents and siblings, friends and couples, regularly felt hostility towards each other, but it would be fine as long as it did not erupt. However, this place reflected the inner mind of a person, and the Clam King of Mirage Sea was far too powerful and strange.
“Have you ever heard that illusions arise from the heart?” The Clam King of Mirage Sea smiled.
“He’s never treated you as an enemy.” Xiao An was afraid to tell her theory to Li Qingshan because she was afraid it would make him develop even more hostility. It would become even more dangerous then.
“Otherwise he’d be dead already,” the Clam King of Mirage Sea said slowly.
It was exactly because they shared the popular belief and treated the Clam King of Mirage Sea as an enemy that those cultivators died in the Mirage sea. The outcome of a battle against a peak third heavenly tribulation Daemon King within an illusion obviously went without saying.
“What are you trying to do?” Xiao An knew that fighting was useless, so she stowed her sword away. She let Li Qingshan lie flat, resting his head on her thighs.
“Please let him sleep for a while and have a ‘good’ dream. If he doesn’t wake up, you can’t blame me. That’s his dream.”