Chapter 859 – The Merfolk Sea Fair (Fourteen)
Giant Ship island stood among raging waves. Before anyone had noticed, mountainous clouds had linked together, shrouding the vast sky of stars and weighing down heavily on Main-mast mountain. It seemed like it was about to touch the ridge of the Feilian hall that stood on the top of the mountain. The hovering Silver Dragon King was obscured by the sea of clouds.
A storm was brewing, dimming the world.
The fierce gales swept droplets of rain onto the Feilian hall. The noble, crystal lanterns scattered in the large, spacious hall illuminated the place such that it resembled daytime, forcing everyone’s shadows beneath their feet.
On the mural behind Gong Yuan and Ji Changfeng, the legendary god of wind, Feilian, gazed down at the stunned and startled faces.
For a moment, there was only the sound of wind and rain.
There was a rumble of thunder. The Elder of Cultivation Methods’ shadow used the brilliant flash from the lightning to escape from under his feet, reaching right before Xiao An.
Everyone’s gazes gathered on Ye Duanhai. What was the meaning of this? Was this supposed to be his instructions? Surely he was not giving in!
Ye Duanhai continued to hold his sword in his hands, staring at Li Qingshan with a frown. He suddenly stood up and approached Li Qingshan slowly.
Even regular swordsmen could kill within ten paces, so what about great sword cultivators?
Not to mention the fact that he was only five steps, three steps, one step away!
The Sea Splitting sword thrummed and sword intent condensed, almost as if it was tangible. With each step, even the sea would recede to the two sides.
However, Li Qingshan did not back down. He held his head up high and gazed at Ye Duanhai like a pillar of strength. His battle intent did not decline. Instead, it rose up and surged, gushing out of the hall and into the clouds.
Ye Duanhai stopped. The two men of equal heights clashed with their gazes.
Time seemed to come to a standstill. Their aura condensed without erupting. Everyone held their breaths, like a boulder was weighing on their chest.
The thrumming of the sword stopped instantly! His right hand curled into a fist!
Ye Duanhai held back his sword by the hilt, and Li Qingshan frowned, loosening his fist instead.
Then Ye Duanhai opened his eyes. “You’ve won the bout. Once you’re done eating, let’s have a private talk!”
Without any regard for Li Qingshan’s response, he arrived beside the Elder of Cultivation Methods and patted his shoulder, making his way out of the hall and into the wind and rain without even looking back. His figure seemed slightly bleak. The elders and disciples of the sword pavilion followed closely behind.
Everyone was left in some disbelief. The master of the sword pavilion who had been renowned for his staunchness and decisiveness had actually been forced back in an open confrontation against a junior who had not even undergone the third heavenly tribulation!
Yu Wufeng exhaled deeply, feeling both fortunate and sorry. Master, I’m the one who’s let you down!
Killing in a fit of rage was a part of a sword cultivator’s nature, except Ye Duanhai was not alone. He was also the master of the South Sea Sword pavilion. He had to look at the bigger picture and consider for the entire sect, so he was unable to swing his sword in the end.
When Li Qingshan stopped caring about the bigger picture, someone else cared!
“Hehe, we were just joking earlier. Why must you be so serious, fellow? If I have caused you any offence, please forgive me. I’ll punish myself with a cup of alcohol as an apology to you!”
Mister Ram stood up with a smile, picked up a cup of alcohol, and drank it all. “Sect master Ji, I have a weak capacity for liquor, so I’ll be going back first to rest.” Suddenly, he seemed to recall something. “Oh right, his majesty the King of Yue knows the King of Savages likes alcohol, so he’s specially made me bring a jar of fine alcohol. Even I’m tempted by the sight of it, so hopefully you can give me the honour of tasting it tomorrow.”
He strode away before Ji Changfeng could even stand up to send him off. The Myriad Poison Ancestor caught up with him in a hurry and walked beside him, with Ru Xin following behind.
Everyone was dumbfounded. The head caretaker of the King of Southern Yue’s estate had actually apologised on his own accord! Perhaps he was different from what they imagined him to be. Was this mister Ram really a person who never tried to offend anyone through and through?
They could understand Ye Duanhai’s decision to back down. After all, his dear disciple’s life lay in Li Qingshan’s hands, but what was mister Ram afraid of? Was he actually afraid that Li Qingshan would lose his temper and harm him? The Silver Dragon King was right in the air, and the Myriad Poison Ancestor was right beside him. Who could harm him? Not to mention, didn’t the Myriad Poison Ancestor have a huge grievance with Li Qingshan?
Let alone them, even Ji Changfeng was very surprised. The King of Southern Yue has actually actively offered up alcohol to express good will. Just who is this Li Qingshan? Why does he deserve so much respect? Don’t tell me the head caretaker’s main objective this time is Li Qingshan? Otherwise, why else would he be able to tolerate him?
He did not know that Li Qingshan had once gifted the King of Southern Yue a jar of alcohol. This was just reciprocity out of courtesy. He only knew that the King of Southern Yue would never give him a jar of alcohol like that.
Mister Ram stepped over the door sill and actually felt his entire body lighten up. He could not help but glance back. Li Qingshan happened to be looking at him, and he seemed rather disappointed. He clasped his hands with a smile before glancing past the Myriad Poison Ancestor. His heart sank.
Earlier, he had already made up his mind about destroying these two geniuses of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga in the Feilian hall. He could crush the cultivation community of the South sea in the process too. Right when he was about to contact the Myriad Poison Ancestor beside him, he suddenly noticed that something was amiss.
The Myriad Poison Ancestor had been just too quiet!
Li Qingshan had virtually destroyed the Myriad Poison cult! Such an unforgivable feud existed between them, yet the Myriad Poison Ancestor had actually remained silent ever since he entered the Feilian hall. Even when Li Qingshan provoked everyone, he had not put in a single word against Li Qingshan.
If the Myriad Poison Ancestor were a cautious and meticulous person, then so be it, but he just happened to be renowned for his narrow-mindedness.
If it was fishy, then something was definitely wrong!
Something unfathomable had happened to the the most important element of this trip, the person who he depended on the most, which brought great unease to mister Ram. As a result, he did not speak with the Myriad Poison Ancestor. Instead, he carefully observed his reactions.
When Ye Duanhai backed down with his disciples and elders, the Myriad Poison Ancestor still did not show any intentions of doing anything, which made mister Ram catch the scent of danger. He immediately decided to give up on this opportunity, so he tolerated Li Qingshan and allowed everything to return to its original course.
When Li Qingshan ceased with his forbearance, someone chose forbearance!
“Cough cough, sect master Ji, then… I’ll take my leave as well. I drank too much today and said some nonsense. I’ve really made a fool of myself! Haha, apologies, apologies!”
“Seventh seat” smiled, except his smile was quite unnatural. His high spirits from just a moment earlier when he wanted to take on Li Qingshan in a battle to the death seemed to have never existed in the first place. He cursed himself inside.
God dammit, it’s just a seating order! Only a madman would want to become involved in this! Important figures like them are bickering about, so what’s it got to do with me? Don’t I cultivate in the South sea exactly because I want to avoid these conflicts? Can’t I just watch on from the sideline? Why’d I leap into the action myself? Even the King of Southern Yue shows respect to this kid, Li Qingshan, so why am I trying to feud with him? If we actually start fighting, just a single stroke from that woman called Xiao An is more than what I can withstand!
“Sigh, my capacity for liquor is weak too, so I’ll be bidding farewell first.” “Please forgive me, sect master Ji!”
The cultivators of the South sea that Li Qingshan had pointed out had become a bundle of nerves a long time ago. With “seventh seat” in the lead, they all stood up and bade farewell, their eyes flickering with uncertainty. Basically all of their gazes avoided Li Qingshan. Some of them just downright gazed at their own feet.
“Stop right there!” Li Qingshan barked.
“Y- you better not take it too far. This is the Cloud Sail sect. This is the South sea, not your Savage mountain!”
“Seventh seat” shivered all over and turned around. His expression was extremely ugly.
Some of the other cultivators stopped too, while others just kept their heads down as they made their way out. They even sped up slightly.
Seeing this, the people that stopped all made a reluctant decision to leave in a hurry as well. They thought to themselves, He definitely wasn’t talking to me! Hmph, Li Qingshan, no matter how impressive you are, don’t even think about stopping us with just that! The more you want us to stop, the more we’re going to go!
Swish! Swish! Swish! Over a dozen streaks of light flew out from the Feilian hall. Gazing at the shrouded skies, they immediately lightened up significantly. Not only did I go, I even made it out! What can you do about me? Thankfully, he wasn’t referring to me!
Some of them glanced back at “seventh seat” and wished him good luck, while others even refused to look back. They even grumbled inside, If you hadn’t spoken recklessly, would we have been dragged into this matter? Why’d you provoke the King of Savages? Cultivating in the South sea is about peace and quiet. You’re the leader of a sect too, yet you don’t even understand this.
Regardless of whether they looked back or not, none of them slowed down. The group of people vanished into the curtain of rain very soon, only leaving behind “seventh seat” still standing there and facing Li Qingshan. His expression became more and more ugly, completely bitter with regret. “Why should I stop?”
“Fellow Li, do be lenient!” Ji Changfeng said.
“Seventh seat” glanced at Ji Changfeng gratefully, but it was not because he was afraid of dying. If he actually faced a great enemy, he would be more than willing to put up a fight to the death. He just did not want to die over such a strange, baffling reason, simply because he had been a bit of a big mouth.
This felt like messing around with a tiger because he was bored, only to be eaten in the end. If he had died because of such an idiotic reason, he would probably become the laughing stock of the entire South sea cultivation community.
Merely looking at his slightly bitter face turned Li Qingshan off. What benefit could come out of killing the likes of him?
He was also very surprised by how everything had developed. Originally, he was prepared for a battle to the death, but he never expected Ye Duanhai and mister Ram to actually back down. It was not like he had any major grievances with the South Sea Sword pavilion and the King of Yue’s estate. They had even acknowledged their defeat and apologised to him, so there was no reason for him to not spare them and throw his life at them.
However, there was still a “big fish” here!
Li Qingshan turned around. “Gong Yuan, how is my rage of a crude simpleton?”
The Merfolk Queen became uncertain. If Li Qingshan had been rude enough to directly call her by her name earlier, she definitely would have taught him a lesson, but now, gazing at the hall that had suddenly emptied out and “seventh seat’s” figure as he flew away from the hall, almost as if he was fleeing for his life, she actually had no idea what to say for a moment.
Even the Merfolk elders felt uneasy, afraid to rebuke this man before them again without good reason.
Ji Changfeng opened his mouth, but he said nothing. He could convince Li Qingshan to spare someone who had nothing better to do, but this was the Merfolk Queen now, so it was up to them to handle this themselves, just in case he offended either side.
Ye Duanhai could admit defeat for his disciple and mister Ram could apologise for his own safety, but Gong Yuan would never lower herself to do that. If it were earlier, she could still turn against Li Qingshan without the slightest hesitation, but now, she was unable to make that decision anymore.
Let alone how much strength Li Qingshan was hiding exactly, just Xiao An was a tough nut to crack. She was not afraid, but her subordinates were not that powerful. She could not sacrifice them pointlessly. If Ji Changfeng assisted her, they could keep the two of them at bay through the formations of Main-mast mountain.
However, Ji Changfeng clearly had no plans to do that. He wanted to remain neutral. Ji Changfeng’s relationship with the Merfolk of the South sea was purely cooperative. He was not their lackey. He would never want to fall out with the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga just because the Merfolk Queen had been momentarily displeased either.
Li Qingshan stood with his arms crossed, gazing at the Merfolk Queen calmly as she faced a dilemma. He was very satisfied.
After making his decision, it was now her turn to make her decision.
Are you bold enough to face me in battle?