Chapter 921 – A Guest from the Green Province
A scarlet streak of light pierced through the air, and the burly man’s forehead lit up. Suddenly, a gentle breeze blew over, diverting the scarlet light slightly and shooting past his ear.
The man only felt his ear heat up. He had yet to realise what had happened. He continued to curse away, “You damned brat, you’re really sick of living, aren’t you? Just you watch as your grandfather…”
Before he could even finish, he saw the horrified expression of the dark-skinned man on the other side of the river as he stared right behind him. He could not help but turn around, only to discover a fiery-red hole in the rock behind him. It widened as it went, piercing three hundred meters into the mountain. Even the rock that had endured several millions years of baking in the flames of the earth showed signs of melting.
The man gulped. This did not seem to be what a newborn flower spirit was capable of. If the hole had appeared on his head, then that would be it for him. Just like how luck would run out one day, Fire Melt mountain truly was not some safe place to be.
“Hmm? Why’d it miss?” Li Fengyuan scratched his head in confusion. “Whatever! I’ll go again! Harggh—”
A shadow loomed over, and a huge hand fell down from above, pressing his little head down heavily.
Boom! The outcrop was smashed to pieces, the lava splashed into the air, and the air whistled by.
“What’s happening now!?”
The burly man and the dark-skinned man both widened their eyes. Only when the dust settled did they see a large man crouching above the river of lava, pressing the arrogant child’s head into the lava. Meanwhile, the outcrop had collapsed. The boom was clearly a result of them colliding together.
The child who had almost claimed their lives had his head pressed into the ground, which they both found to be surreal. From that person’s appearance and strength, was he perhaps the King of Savages, Li Qingshan?
The thought made their hearts lurch at the same time. They had just gotten out of the frying pan, only to end up in the fire. They really had not checked the calendar today. They had come out looking to die.
They wondered how they would feel if their situations were reversed. If someone had infiltrated their territory and even tried to steal something, not only would they kill them, but they would even torture them, making an example out of them. Not to mention that the King of Savages was infamous for his ruthlessness. He could kill without even batting an eye. His infamy was resounding. They were dead for sure.
“Thank you for saving my life, King of Savages. I’ve long admired your great reputation. I’ve always wanted to pledge myself to you, but I was not fortunate enough to do so. I’ve been pacing around Fire Melt mountain the entire time, just in hopes of seeing you. My dream has really come true today!” the burly man dropped to his knees with a plop and said with utmost gratitude. He even squeezed out a tear from the corner of his eye.
The dark-skinned man cursed him for his spinelessness. He could never bring himself to say something so shameless. He knelt down in a hurry and bowed his head.
Li Qingshan scolded Li Fengyuan. “Damned brat, have you had enough? Don’t you know how your second father taught you? Don’t spit on the ground and don’t curse! I don’t think you’ve taken it to heart at all!”
The burly man and dark-skinned man were both alarmed. So this place really was the child’s home. He was either the King of Savages’ disciple or son, which was no wonder why he was so vicious and ruthless.
And when they heard what the King of Savages said, they were devastated. Not spitting on the ground and not cursing was even more important than their lives.
“You taught me all of this! Father Feng has already told me that I shouldn’t have ended up like this. It’s all because of you, it’s all because of you!” Li Fengyuan put up a fierce struggle in great disagreement, making the river of lava surge, but how could he stand a chance against Li Qingshan’s strength?
Li Qingshan grabbed him by the collar and lifted him out of the lava, only to see his hands crossed and his little face indignant. He could not help but smile. “Don’t listen to his nonsense. If it weren’t for me, how would you still be alive and kicking? It’s not like spitting and cursing is some kind of great sin. That’s called being open-minded. Your second father doesn’t understand this at all. So much for his wisdom. All he knows is how to flap his lips behind someone’s back like a woman…”
Rumble! The main peak in the distance shook violently as if it was about to erupt.
Li Qingshan stopped talking and grinned, only to discover a similar smile on Li Fengyuan’s face, which seemed to be saying, Why aren’t you continuing?
Li Qingshan could not help but shake his head. He really could not shirk away from the blame, so he changed the topic. “Why did you sneak out here instead of focusing on cultivating?”
“First father, I’ve come to send you off, as well as to get a breath of fresh air.” Li Fengyuan folded his hands and revealed a fawning smile.
“You know I’m leaving?” Li Qingshan was slightly surprised.
“We’re father and son. I know exactly what you want to do, first father.”
“You’re begging me to take you along!” Li Qingshan smiled.
“Hmph, it’s not like you’re second father’s opponent, so what’s the point of begging you?” Li Qingshan showed a hint of contempt.
“Y- you can forget about coaxing me into action! Anyway, your second father is right! Now’s still not the time! You should go back!” Li Qingshan let him go. “You’re still too weak right now. I have quite a lot of enemies. When I’m caught up in a fight, I’m afraid I won’t be able to protect you.”
“Don’t worry, father. I’ll definitely cultivate well. By then, I’ll help you fight. I definitely won’t get in your way!” Li Fengyuan patted his chest and guaranteed.
“Alright!” Li Qingshan laughed aloud. He really had emerged from his belly after all. He truly suited his tastes. He could not help but recall what brother ox had said in the past, so he said, “I await for that day!”
Logically speaking, Li Qingshan’s long dream was absolutely nothing compared to the phoenix’s legacy, but it just happened to have a great influence on Li Fengyuan’s personality. It even left Feng Xiwu dumbfounded. All he could do was sigh. “A rat’s droppings have ruined the entire pot of soup.”
“Then what about the two of them?” Li Fengyuan pointed.
Li Qingshan glanced over, and the two men both shivered.
Li Qingshan said coldly, “We can’t let them leave here!” The little phoenix’s existence was significant. If news made it out, who knew how many people would covet him. It was better to avoid the trouble altogether.
The two of them were utterly frightened. They cried out, “Show mercy, King of Savages!”
“Alright!” Li Fengyuan was invigorated. He rubbed his hands and pursed his lips, showing absolutely no fear towards slaughter.
“But don’t kill them.” Li Qingshan could sense that to him, killing people was no different from a kid crushing ants. Things like respecting life and a sense of guilt was all bullshit to him. There was only the simplest form of amusement, which was not a good sign. Although it would still be unavoidable for him to be splattered with blood one day, he had to understand the significance behind slaughter at the very least.
“Why?” Li Fengyuan pulled a long face. He said in great reluctance, “They even tried to steal my flower!” He raised his right hand as he said that, which happened to be holding the Fire Velvet flower.
Since when? Li Qingshan was mildly surprised before breaking out in laughter. He really was a natural divine bird after all, the leader of avians. Just his talent alone was a thousand times greater than that boy cowherd of the past.
“Because I’m stronger than him!” Li Qingshan said sternly, “I said you can’t, so you can’t.”
“You’re being unreasonable, first father!” Li Fengyuan cried out. Feng Xiwu was a modest, self-disciplined gentleman. When he spent time with Li Fengyuan, he placed particular focus on his bearing as a gentleman. He would never be as rude and unreasonable as Li Qingshan.
“That’s my surname. I’m most reasonable.” Li Qingshan grinned, leading Li Fengyuan utterly livid.
TL: In Chinese, “reason” is 理 (lǐ). Their surname, “Li”, is 李 (lǐ). It’s pronounced the same.
“Anyway, you can deal with them. I’m setting off!” Li Qingshan glanced from the corner of his eye and saw Xiao An standing gently on the top of a mountain in the distance.
“Farewell, father. May you be ever-victorious and may everything go in your favour!” Li Fengyuan became solemn, folding his hands and bowing. His plumage drifted. Despite still being very young, he already possessed a hint of a composed bearing.
Li Qingshan nodded and said nothing more. He took a step in the air, and he had already arrived on the distant mountain.
“Be sure to visit me when you have time!” Li Fengyuan staggered a few steps forward, and his eyes became misty. Tears trickled down his cheeks, with every single droplet translucent. When they landed on the Fire Velvet flower in his hand, it immediately bloomed even more gloriously.
He was still a child at the end of the day. He was still not accustomed to partings.
They could not be regarded as actual father and son, and they had not spent a lot of time together, but he was particularly attached to this first father of his who gave him his surname.
“Once I get back, I’ll butcher you if you can’t even withstand three strikes from me!” Li Qingshan’s voice rang out from afar. He had already vanished into the horizon.
“Alright!” Li Fengyuan wiped away his tears. Looking around, he saw the burly man and dark-skinned man staring at him, which made him say, “What’re you looking at? Haven’t you seen good men shed tears before? You two bastards, get over here!”
The mountains rose and fell, the forests were dense, and the mist was never-ending.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An travelled several thousand kilometers and arrived before Savage mountain. They passed through the fog and arrived in the valley, but the sight before them left them slightly surprised.
A city sat in the valley, littered with halls and buildings. People bustled about. If it were not for the great banyan tree that shrouded the sky, it was basically like when they first set foot on Savage mountain.
The Great Banyan Tree King’s delighted voice rang out in his mind, “You’ve returned!”
“As long as you’ve returned. There’s a person who’s been waiting for you for quite some time now!”
“Who are you? Stop right there! How did you get here? How dare you intrude on our Savage mountain!” A man with pigments on his face and a spear in his land leapt out, questioning them loudly. When his gaze drifted past Xiao An, he was unable to move it away from her anymore. He was infatuated.
“That’s what I’m supposed to be asking!” Li Qingshan laughed loudly and stopped keeping a low profile. He allowed his aura to radiate as he strode towards the great banyan tree.
The man with the spear shuddered. All he felt was the tall man’s figure right before him grow larger and larger, eventually blotting out the sky and filling his eyes. He was like a mountain pressing towards him.
The valley fell silent. Everyone raised their heads at the same time. Their hearts thumped away.
A while earlier, a monk leaned over a table in a raucous tavern as he stuffed himself. His face was dark and ugly, and his grey monk robes were covered in a layer of grease, which formed black and yellow spots. A great string of prayer beads hung around his neck.
People would greet him from time to time and tease him. “Ugly monk, you really can’t go without meat, can you!”
The ugly monk raised his head and grinned with his oily mouth, revealing a simple and honest smile.
The ugly monk had come to Savage mountain over two years ago. Back then, the two provinces had yet to formally declare war, but Savage mountain had already developed to its current scale. Many shamans and cultivators gathered here. This was not a shelter for fugitives anymore, but it was still the south after all, so finding a person good at heart was even more difficult than ascending.
The ugly monk’s arrival formed an exception to this rule. His simple and honest face pissed people off no matter where he went. In the beginning, people all thought he was faking it. This place had never lacked any actors or posers anyway. But gradually, everyone realised that was not the case. The ugly monk was actually simple. He did not fight back, nor did he curse back. Instead, he persuaded everyone to do good.
This place was basically an example of good people getting abused. Convincing others to do good was no different from cursing them. As a result, the ugly monk was cursed and beaten up even more. If it were not for the fact that killing was forbidden in the valley, perhaps he would have been beaten to death a long time ago.
This lasted until one day when the people that the ugly monk had advised countless times began disappearing one by one, but the cave masters all remained silent. It was rumored that the ugly monk transformed into a monster and ate all the missing people, that he was actually a direct disciple of the first cave master, the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber. Only then did everyone treat him politely.
However, the ugly monk continued as before, remaining simple-minded and advising others to do good. No one knew his name or dharma name, nor did anyone know why he had come or why he was here, up until now.
The ugly monk suddenly raised his head and leapt up. He beamed in surprise. “First senior brother!”
He was about to rush out of the tavern when he suddenly studied himself with a frown. With a tremble of his clothes, his robes became clean like they were new. With a shudder, he became spotless. The filthy prayer beads around his neck recovered their shine too, flowing with different colours. He had turned into a neat and tidy ugly monk before arriving before Li Qingshan as a grey blur. He brought his palms together and bowed.
“First senior brother, do you still recognise me?”
“Duoge, you really have grown up quite a lot. How long have you been here?” Li Qingshan immediately understood; this was the person the Great Banyan Tree King spoke of that had been waiting for him for quite some time now. As it turned out, the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga was not just trying to call him back. They had already sent someone over.