Chapter 857 – The Merfolk Sea Fair (Twelve)
Xiao An returned to the corner of the hall and reconnected the branch to its original place.
At that moment, green buds appeared on the branch again, blooming with peach blossoms. They blossomed brilliantly, with even greater splendour than before.
What she did almost left Ji Changfeng and everyone else even more surprised than the strike from earlier.
Just how frail was a peach branch? Yet, she had wielded it as a sword, unleashing such an unrivalled stroke. All of its vitality should have been depleted already. When the aura vanished from the branch, it should have crumbled immediately.
She had actually reconnected it and made it blossom again. Who knew how many times more difficult that was than reviving a dead branch. She had basically converted life from death.
Xiao An gazed at the blooming peach blossoms for quite a while before finally turning around, returning to Li Qingshan’s side.
The two years had not gone to waste. She had gained a deeper comprehension of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty and was not far off from the third layer now.
“You’ve worked hard!” Li Qingshan smiled as he poured her a cup of alcohol and massaged her shoulders, behaving with great hospitality.
It shocked the cultivators who had just witnessed his arrogance. Was the “King of Savages” merely a signboard, where he was actually only a deadbeat who relied on the mysterious lady, Xiao An, to get by?
Even Ye Duanhai experienced similar thoughts. Was this Xiao An perhaps a Reincarnated Celestial? Otherwise, it would be absolutely impossible for her to possess a path of the sword like that given her age.
If that were the case, many things would make sense. With just the path of the sword and her ability to instantly hide her aura, she only required a treasured sword and an ambush by surprise, and there would be nothing strange about the Myriad Poison Ancestor losing his body. Yu Wufeng’s defeat would have made perfect sense too.
However, little did Ye Duanhai know that when they fought against the Myriad Poison Ancestor, Xiao An had yet to obtain the Three Absolutes Calligraphy. Her comprehension of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty was not that deep either, or they really would not have needed to chase after the Myriad Poison Ancestor.
Xiao An lifted the bronze mask slightly, revealing her vermillion lips. They were curved with a smile, drinking the wine that Li Qingshan had poured for her. When she bore no expression, she was already utterly alluring, so now that she drank with a smile, even if only half her face was visible, many of the cultivators in the hall felt their minds waver.
“I couldn’t tell, but not only is this little sister a beauty, but she’s even so capable as well. Little Li the second, that’s your good fortune. Looks like your title of King of Savages should belong to her instead,” the Merfolk Queen said suddenly.
Originally, she only wanted to test out Li Qingshan. She had not paid much attention to Xiao An at all, so she never expected there to be such an alarming result from the unintentional test. As a result, she immediately tried to probe their relationship by inciting them against one another.
Surely they were not lovers! The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga was a holy land of buddhism renowned throughout the world after all. Surely they were not that liberal? However, if she were a man, even she would be enchanted by a woman like her, and Li Qingshan clearly was not a person who liked to hold himself back either. Under these logical conclusions, their relationship became more and more puzzling to her.
“That obviously is my good fortune, but calling a girl the King of Savages isn’t really nice.” Li Qingshan helped Xiao An put on the mask properly, and Xiao An glanced at Gong Yuan.
Gong Yuan immediately sensed it. She was actually slightly wary. As a woman, she understood that most women were very vengeful, and their thoughts were unpredictable too. After witnessing that strike, she was also reluctant to make an enemy out of a woman like her for some strange reason, so she said, “I see.”
At the very least, there was one thing she was certain about, and that was Xiao An treasured her relationship with Li Qingshan very much, while Li Qingshan’s behaviour made Gong Yuan despise him a little. Xiao An had done so much for him, yet he still cared about the title more than her. Though, weren’t all men in the world like that? They all viewed these empty concepts of titles and honours with even greater importance than their own lives. There was nothing strange about that.
Actually, Li Qingshan did not notice she was trying to make them turn against each other at all. Having their names ring throughout the world had always been a wild ambition of men. He was no exception. However, the title of the King of Savages was absolutely nothing compared to his journey to the Nine Heavens. No matter how important it was, it could never even be compared to Xiao An’s importance.
As for Xiao An, not only did she have no concept of fame and honour, but even the concept of doing things for him did not exist to her. Many aspects of their thoughts differed vastly from regular people, which only made it even more difficult for others to understand their relationship.
“Fascinating, how fascinating! The King of Savages really does have lurking talents under his command! It leaves me in amazement!”
Mister Ram clapped his hands and praised. His cultivation was not low, but it was not high enough to recognise how profound Xiao An’s strike was either. He had only understood the significance of the strike after secretly communicating with the Myriad Poison Ancestor beside him, which left him greatly shocked.
His majesty the King of Yue has been far too engrossed by Li Qingshan. I didn’t think the girl would actually be the big fish. If someone like her returns to the Green province and then opposes the Mist province, it’ll be horrible. However, I refuse to believe the two of them don’t have even the slightest of disputes. Throughout history, it has always been the most difficult for geniuses to get along. Perhaps it’s possible to polarise them.
“No wonder you gave up on the path of the sword.”
Ye Duanhai finished off the cup of alcohol by his mouth. The Elder of Cultivation Methods’ defeat in a single stroke not only disgraced him, but it also made him feel threatened for some reason. Perhaps he would have to cast aside his pride and sit down to negotiate a deal with Li Qingshan, so he followed up on what Gong Yuan and mister Ram had said.
No matter how foolish Li Qingshan was, he could still tell everything they said was an attempt to sow discord in their relationship. Although the possibility for them to fall for it did not exist at all, it still left a bad taste in his mouth.
Earlier, when he had been provoked by “seventh seat” and mocked by the cultivators of the South sea, his response seemed to be over the top, but it was actually just one that he made in the moment. He did not take them seriously at all.
However, he still had a bottom line.
“Hehe, that was one of the reasons, but hopefully the Elder of Cultivation Methods from your sect, pavilion master Ye, doesn’t end up abandoning the path of the sword like I did after some mere guidance. If other disciples under the South Sea Sword pavilion end up giving up on the path of the sword as well, I’ll be at great fault then. Oh right, mister Ram, may I ask what part of the strike earlier was fascinating? Did you even see it clearly? And your majesty, the word “beauty” doesn’t really suit Xiao An. You better just keep it for yourself!”
After saying all that, Ye Duanhai looked down. Killing in a fit of anger had always been a swordsman’s nature. Gong Yuan’s eyes turned cold. How could a queen allow even the slightest offence to her dignity? Mister Ram continued to smile, except it was a little more unnatural now. His humility and modesty was built off a foundation that no one tried to strut around on his head. As the head caretaker of the King of Yue’s estate, how could he be the type to just take that lying down?
The atmosphere in the hall immediately reached freezing point. The cultivators of the South sea realised in a daze that Li Qingshan had not been particularly arrogant earlier. He was not exactly provoking them either. Only now could that be called arrogance and provocation!
“Ever since the beginning, I haven’t tried to make any trouble at all. You can say I’ve shown you enough respect. All of you think less of me just because I haven’t undergone the third heavenly tribulation. If you want to test me out, then come test me out. You better stop with these underhanded tricks, as it’ll only ruin your reputation!”
Li Qingshan had never liked schemes and posing around in the first place. It was only under the spirit turtle’s influence that he had played along with them for so long. Now that they had set him off, he downright laid it all out in the open. At worst, it was just falling out with each other. It was perfect for him to break through to the fifth layer of the tiger demon. Coupled with Xiao An and the Myriad Poison Ancestor, he was confident that less than a handful could emerge from this hall alive!
At that moment, everyone sensed that Li Qingshan’s bearing had changed!