Chapter 854 – The Merfolk Sea Fair (Nine)
“We’ll retreat if it seems off!” Li Qingshan secretly notified Xiao An. He tried to sense around with the spirit turtle, but he discovered no danger at all. However, he still refused to drop his guard. If the King of Southern Yue really was determined to eliminate them, he would definitely stir up the heavenly secrets and mask his attempt.
The Silver Dragon King gradually slowed down, hovering above Giant Ship island steadily and casting a huge shadow.
Everyone on the island stopped what they were doing, raising their heads. They could not help but hold their breaths.
Li Qingshan suddenly raised his eyebrows. He sensed two extremely familiar auras. Why were they on the Silver Dragon King?
Three figures descended from the sky. The one in the middle was an old man with a goatee, dressed like a scholar. The most conspicuous part about him was the pair of curved, goat horns on his head. He clearly possessed the bloodline of daemons. As it seemed, the “ram” part of mister Ram was real.
To the left and right of the head caretaker of the King of Southern Yue’s estate were two people that Li Qingshan could not be more familiar with, the Myriad Poison Ancestor and the masked lady Ru Xin.
This was not the plan!
Though, at least they had not just started firing away without saying anything.
Ji Changfeng clearly eased up, while the Merfolk Queen looked away.
Ye Duanhai gazed at the Myriad Poison Ancestor and frowned. Why had he become a ghost cultivator? His aura had not weakened, even growing slightly stronger, but this world was a world of the “living”. Ghost cultivators faced natural suppression and disadvantages, which was why even a renowned sect for controlling ghosts like the Umbral Yin sect still had cultivators that retained their bodies.
The Myriad Poison Ancestor shot a vicious glance back at him, and Ye Duanhai looked away. He exchanged glances with Yu Wufeng beside him, thinking about what they had just said. Yu Wufeng had made it clear right from the beginning that he could not divulge Li Qingshan’s secrets because of the Blood Oath Scroll and sought his master’s forgiveness. However, there was something he made very clear, which was to never make an enemy out of Li Qingshan.
Ye Duanhai understood his disciple’s character very well. He was not a talkative type, even if his life was in danger. Suddenly, an unbelievable thought crossed his mind. Did Li Qingshan destroy the Myriad Poison Ancestor’s body?
That was just far too unbelievable. If his body could be destroyed so easily, how had the Myriad Poison Ancestor remained alive for all this time before? If he could not take Savage mountain, then so be it, but he had his body destroyed by a junior instead and was forced to transition into a ghost cultivator. The biggest question was, how was he able to stand all of this?
“Please investigate further, master!” Yu Wufeng had a thousand things he wanted to say, but he could not say anything. He was even afraid to give hints that were too obvious. He was very tempted to tell Ye Duanhai that the Myriad Poison Ancestor did not simply have his body destroyed. Instead, he had completely submitted to Li Qingshan. However, even if he said that, Ye Duanhai probably would not believe him.
“Apologies, apologies. I’ve made you all wait. Originally, I was going to be right on time, but I heard an honoured guest would be coming as well. Look, it’s senior Myriad Poison who’s standing right beside me. He’s established renown in the south many years ago, so you don’t need any further introductions from me. Anyway, I ended up making a slight detour and missed out on receiving her majesty. I truly am at fault…”
Mister Ram began apologising as soon as he landed on the platform. He was very humble, so humble that he even seemed slightly sleazy. He did not resemble the head caretaker of the King of Yue’s estate at all. He was the exact opposite of Li Qingshan’s flagrancy.
Li Qingshan was forced to be flagrant, while no matter how polite mister Ram was, no one dared to brush him aside.
As the host, Ji Changfeng received him with great enthusiasm. Let alone the kind of forces that the King of Yue’s estate possessed, just the Silver Dragon King hovering in the air gave off a tremendous force of deterrence. On top of that, there was the honoured guest of the king’s estate, the Myriad Poison Ancestor, as well.
The Myriad Poison Ancestor squinted his eyes and clasped his hands casually, basically greeting him. He stared at Li Qingshan resentfully as if he was about to strike at any time.
Li Qingshan sneered in disregard before shifting his gaze away to Ye Duanhai. “Pavilion master Ye, your sword sure is a fine sword!”
That was no different from commenting “nice weather”. In the eyes of others, he was trying to borrow Ye Duanhai’s influence to prevent the Myriad Poison Ancestor from acting recklessly.
If it were not for his conversation with Yu Wufeng, Ye Duanhai would have thought that too. He glanced at Li Qingshan with profound meaning and said, “I heard you also practise the path of the sword.”
This left everyone in the surroundings shocked. They never expected Ye Duanhai to answer him. Sure enough, with his successor completely at someone else’s whim, even the aloof and proud Ye Duanhai had to learn to be flexible. However, those that that thought much further believed the South Sea Sword pavilion was intending to establish an alliance with Savage mountain to confront their bitter enemy, the Myriad Poison cult.
Sure enough, the Myriad Poison Ancestor experienced some misgivings, “holding back” his urge to strike.
Yu Wufeng was roaring inside, Master, don’t be fooled by their act! They’re together!
Li Qingshan glanced past Ru Xin. She wore the poison mask she used when refining poison, standing behind the Myriad Poison Ancestor and playing her role as his disciple. She did not even glance at Li Qingshan a single time.
Li Qingshan and Ye Duanhai conversed a little, despite both of their minds being elsewhere. Mister Ram hurried over with a series of rapid steps and bowed with his hands clasped. “The pavilion master hasn’t changed since my visit to your sword pavilion, which is truly joyous to know!”
“I failed to receive you properly last time. You’re welcome to visit my sword pavilion again.” Ye Duanhai also warmed up slightly.
“You’re too kind. Definitely, definitely.”
Mister Ram made some small talk. He knew that Ye Duanhai did not like to talk a lot, so he turned to Li Qingshan. “You must be the King of Savages who’s shaken up the south. With your age, with your talent, it really brings shame to us, the older ones!” His face was filled with undisguised admiration, the type that clearly originated from the bottom of his heart.
“You’d be overpraising me.” Li Qingshan returned the gesture politely. He truly understood what Ji Changfeng and Ye Duanhai were currently feeling.
The King of Yue’s estate was far too powerful. In the ten-millennia-long history before the establishment of Great Xia, the Mist province had always been the Kingdom of Yue’s territory, lasting all the way until now. Their heritage was so deep that even great cultivators and great sects fell under their rule.
The South Sea Sword pavilion and the Cloud Sail sect were still located on the South sea after all, but Savage mountain truly stood in the King of Yue’s domain. Even if his plan succeeded and he successfully took Fire Melt mountain, he still needed time to cultivate. If he fell out with the King of Yue’s estate, he would not be able to hold his ground at all. All he would be able to do was scramble back to the Green province.
Fortunately, this mister Ram was very clever with his words, such that no one felt pressured by the King of Yue’s estate. However, as long as they were capable of logical thought, no one could ignore the existence of the King of Yue’s estate behind him.
But why exactly has he come here? Li Qingshan had a vague guess, but he was unable to receive any confirmation from mister Ram’s behaviour.
“Numerous valued guests have gathered today. It’s an event that my Cloud Sail sect has never seen before, so please come up the mountain with me so that we can celebrate!”
The master of the Cloud Sail sect, Ji Changfeng, waved his hand, and a gentle breeze rose up beneath everyone’s feet. Apart from the people on the platform, there were a few cultivators of the South sea as well, all having reached the second heavenly tribulation. Only they were qualified to attend the main banquet on Main-mast mountain.
There were other people to guide the regular merpeople and cultivators, holding banquets on Fore-mast mountain and Mizzen-mast mountain. Only after the banquet would the sea fair formally begin.
Li Qingshan allowed the breeze to carry him towards Main-mast mountain. He arrived in the Feilian hall that sat at the top of the mountain, and the banquet was already prepared. Everyone assumed their seats.
As the host, Ji Changfeng modestly offered his seat to everyone else before taking the main seat. As for Gong Yuan, she considered herself as the master of the South sea. She could also be regarded as half a host for the sea fair this time, so she sat on equal footing with Ji Changfeng.
The master of the sword pavilion and the Myriad Poison Ancestor sat to the left and right below, facing each other. However, the seat on the right was a little more important, which the Myriad Poison Ancestor occupied.
Ji Changfeng had been quite worried about this originally. He originally had Ye Duanhai sitting on the right and mister Ram sitting on the left. That was the most appropriate, with no faults for anyone to find. He never expected the Myriad Poison Ancestor to appear early, ruining the plan, but he stopped worrying when he saw how Ye Duanhai had no objections.
It was much simpler after that. Mister Ram took the right seat after the Myriad Poison Ancestor without holding back at all. No matter how great his background was, his personal cultivation was still a thing, so it was impossible for his seat to be more important than a great cultivator’s. Courtesy was one thing, but the King of Yue’s estate was still much more powerful than Savage mountain. His own cultivation was higher too.
Li Qingshan did not think too much about it. He never planned on sitting close to the Myriad Poison Ancestor anyway, so he just went with the flow and sat beneath Ye Duanhai.
Just like that, the seating arrangement for the banquet had been determined, centred around the six of them. The seats below were relatively more flexible.
However, there were still people who were discontent, like the Golden Core cultivator who sat in the “seventh seat” for example. He stared at Li Qingshan so much as if he was blaming Li Qingshan for stealing his seat. He was also a renowned sect master, where his sect was only second to the Cloud Sail sect in terms of status in the South sea. He did not feel that Li Qingshan was more qualified than him at all. He had just reached the second heavenly tribulation, without even reaching the peak. The King of Savages or whatever was merely an empty boast.
However, there were quite a number of great cultivators present today, and Li Qingshan seemed to get along with them well, so he could not find the courage to speak up. If any of the great cultivators found him to be a nuisance, that would be disastrous.
The banquet began very quickly. Delicacies and dishes clearly unique to the South sea were served up endlessly like flowing water. There was not just seafood and rarities filled with spiritual qi, but also song and dance to add to the banquet. It was wonderful.
Li Qingshan ate to his heart’s content. Just as he ate away happily, there was a gust of wind from behind him, and he raised an eyebrow. He did not dodge, allowing a hand the size of a banana leaf to land on his shoulder.
“Damned brat, don’t forget. We still have a contest!”
Li Qingshan looked back and saw a huge man in blue smiling at him evilly.
The man stood nine feet tall. His body was built sturdily, holding his chest high. The upper half of his body seemed particularly robust. If it were not for his simple appearance that did not seem vicious enough, he basically resembled a mountain god from a temple.
“So it’s elder Blue. How did you end up like this? You don’t even look human.” Li Qingshan smiled as soon as he saw him.
“I’ll end up however I want to end up. What’s it got to do with you? You can’t run away this time!” Elder Blue shot him a glance.
Li Qingshan glanced at the Merfolk Queen nearby. Is she still planning on testing me? Whatever, I might as well just follow the plan. With the King of Yue’s estate backing me up, there’s even less reason for me to worry about falling out with Gong Yuan.
“Do you plan on sparring? That’ll be perfect. As cultivators, don’t you just feel like something is lacking if there’s only fine wine and food, songs and music, at banquets? Talking about cultivation is far too depressing. Fighting and exhibition matches will go perfectly with the alcohol!” Mister Ram rubbed his hands and smiled.