Chapter 922 – Returning to the Mountain
“Not too long, just two years. First senior brother, it’s been twenty years since we last saw each other.”
“So much time has passed already.” Li Qingshan suddenly became a little breathless. The decade or so he spent in secluded cultivation on Fire Melt mountain, coupled with the years he ran around in the south, really was twenty years. To mortals, just how lengthy could twenty years be? Even if it was not enough for entire seas to vanish, nothing would be the same anymore. However, to cultivators, it actually felt surprisingly short.
The little demonfolk he had saved from the Demon Suppression hall had already grown into an adult before he knew it. Although he had yet to undergo the second heavenly tribulation, he was not weak anymore.
“First senior brother, master told me to get you to return. Senior Great Banyan Tree King said you were in secluded cultivation, so I’ve been waiting here.”
“I understand.” Li Qingshan patted Duoge on the shoulder and continued towards the great banyan tree.
Duoge did not urge him anymore. He followed behind him silently, but he never even looked at Xiao An directly the entire time.
At this moment, a fatty that resembled a mountain of flesh came up to receive him. He squeezed out a wide smile on his face. “My king, you’ve emerged!” Behind him stood around seven or eight cave masters, none of which Li Qingshan had seen before. They all gazed at this “King of Savages” with differing feelings and bowed. “Greetings, King of Savages.”
“Fatty the second, no, it’s fatty the first now. You haven’t faced the third heavenly tribulation yet, have you? I’m tired of being the King of Savages.” Li Qingshan smiled, but he did not stop.
“The king’s jokes are hilarious. How could I ever covet your throne? Even if I can undergo the third heavenly tribulation, I’m still your subordinate!” The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber caught up to Li Qingshan’s footsteps gracefully with his humongous size. He took a small step backwards. “Let me introduce to the king. These are the new cave masters of your Savage mountain…”
“There’s no need to introduce them. I’ll remember them.” Li Qingshan waved his hand. Not only would he be leaving the Mist province soon, but even if he remained here as the King of Savages, it would be pointless for him to learn the names and origins of these people. As such, he simply avoided the trouble altogether.
The new cave masters looked at one another. They had heard long ago that the King of Savages was extremely arrogant, but now that they had seen him for themselves, he truly was haughty. However, even the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber behaved so meekly, so they dared not act up. They followed behind him silently before realising that it did make sense. If someone like him did not have a bit of arrogance, it would instead be unusual.
Li Qingshan walked alone as the cave masters tailed behind him. People would join them from the sides of the streets from time to time, all figures who had undergone the heavenly tribulation and had some renown about them. The other people could only stand by and watch silently. When they passed by, they even had to lower their heads.
The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber introduced to Li Qingshan the various changes that had occurred in the south during the past decade. The part of the south that had changed the most was Savage mountain. Savage mountain was no longer that shelter for fugitives in the past anymore. Ever since the Myriad Poison cult’s destruction, they had already replaced them, becoming the new centre of the south.
The three remaining cave masters waged war everywhere under the King of Savage’s flag, letting those who complied thrive and letting those who resisted perish. They gathered the figures from across the entire south and formed an organisation that was neither a sect nor a tribe, but more like a gang.
“My king, your return is like a vicious tiger’s return to the mountain. Thousands will answer your call. The King of Savages is no longer sufficient to describe your might. I think you should change your name to King of the South. You’ve conquered the south and crowned yourself as king!”
The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber sucked up, but it was not a lie. The Myriad Poison cult and the fire devourers had already been destroyed. The divine wutong tree was his powerful friend, and the Merfolk of the South sea could be regarded as his allies. The two supreme kings of the Mist province, the human king and daemon king, were extremely cordial towards Li Qingshan too.
Before he knew it, Li Qingshan had already carved out a piece of the Mist province for himself. Everything and everyone in the south was for him to use.
Duoge followed Li Qingshan and glanced around. He discovered that these cave masters all looked at him in a different way now, with a bit more respect. Originally, even though the cave masters could not do anything to him after killing a few sinful thugs on Savage mountain due to the Great Banyan Tree King’s protection, they all looked at him with quite a lot of hostility. After all, he had broken the rules of Savage mountain, and there were plenty of the cave masters’ disciples among the people he killed.
The vicious land of the south had no room for a benevolent buddhist disciple like him. He was basically confined to the valley. If Li Qingshan had not returned and recognised him, the cave masters would have skinned him alive immediately. The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber might have been the most cordial with him on the surface, to the point where outsiders thought he was his direct disciple, but he was ready to eat him in a single gulp at any time.
However, after Li Qingshan recognised this junior brother, the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber’s occasional glances were filled with closeness and kindness. However, apart from feeling proud of himself, he also felt deeply worried.
Master was right. First senior brother is definitely anything but a common person. He achieves greatness no matter where he goes. Who knows how much greater his current cultivation is compared to twenty years ago, but given the situation, will first senior brother return to the Green province with me?
Li Qingshan asked the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber a few more questions and found out that Ru Xin was no longer on Savage mountain. She found this place to be too noisy, so she went to the Myriad Poison cult to cultivate in peace, which made him smile. She sure knew how to pick a place. When it came to its quality as a blessed land, the Myriad Poison cult ranked at the top of the list in the south. It was not as large of a place as Savage mountain, but it was more than enough to serve as her personal dwelling.
And while the Myriad Poison cult had been destroyed, all of its exterior formations and internal structures were in perfect condition. The various functions all remained. Many precious spiritual herbs filled the gardens, which made the place extremely suitable for refining pills. In the past, Li Qingshan had ordered the Myriad Poison Ancestor to give his full cooperation when she refined medicines. She did not waste that opportunity, grasping this blessed land in the process.
Then Li Qingshan asked, “I heard that the Mist province is suffering from demon plagues in many places. How’s the south doing?”
Actually, he already knew the answer to that question from Xiao An. The demon plagues in the south were the most severe throughout the entire Mist province. If the Mist province was a land of wilderness, then the south was the wilderness within the wilderness. It had been an important zone for invading demonfolk even since ancient times, so many places of demon suppression existed.
If it were not for the Divine Nun of the South Sea and the master of the sword pavilion rushing about and purging demons, perhaps this place would have belonged to demonfolk already. Savage mountain would not even be a thing anymore. However, he still wanted to hear the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber’s opinion as the actual ruler of the largest organisation in the south.
The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber mulled over his words. “The south has a total of twenty-one demon caverns, varying in size. Nine of them have been sealed now, so there’s still twelve. Demonfolk are extremely vicious and tenacious, just as the legends have described, and their abilities become even greater and stranger after they demonify. They’re extremely difficult to deal with. For the sake of this, the second cave master has always been running around outside…”
“What about you? Haven’t you come up with any ideas to help him out?” Li Qingshan stopped, turned around, and asked. The mass of people behind him immediately stopped in utter silence.
“About that…” The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber was left wordless. Who was willing to waste their precious cultivation time risking their lives against demonfolk? The second cave master, the Marquis of Serene Sea, was under the King of Southern Yue’s orders, so he was forced to run around and risk his life. The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber had the time of his life watching him run around, basically hoping he would die to the demon plague. Why would he consider helping him out?
Li Qingshan shook his head gently. How could he not understand what the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber was thinking? Actually, if it were not for collecting resources for Xiao An, he would not want to fight the demonfolk either. If the sky fell, there were always the tall ones to hold it up. Even these Daemon Kings and great cultivators were not panicking, so what was a mere White Hawk commander like him getting involved for?
The so-called overall situation of the Mist province, of the world, was something for the King of Southern Yue and the emperor of Great Xia to consider. It was not because of how great they were, but because it directly impacted their personal interests. To individuals, it was not that they could not see the long-term danger of invading demonfolk. However, if they lost their lives, what long-term interest was there to speak of?
“What’re you following me for? You can scatter. Go do what you need to do!”
Arriving beneath the great banyan tree, Li Qingshan glanced backwards and waved his hand in an unconcerned manner. The feeling of returning to the mountain as a vicious tiger really was nice, but tigers were still solitary animals at the end of the day. They did not need too many followers. Most importantly, monkeys could only offer up wild fruits, which could not satiate the tiger’s appetite. As a result, all that remained was vanity. Experiencing it every now and then was enough.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An arrived beneath the great banyan tree. The Great Banyan Tree King asked with a smile, “Did you get along with that fellow Feng?”
Li Qingshan answered after some consideration, “He’s a little inflexible, but he’s very much a gentleman. Fellow, you’re like a kind senior, while he’s like an ancient scholar, so we’ve gotten along alright.” Afterwards, he cut right to the chase. “I wish to purge these demons. Do you have any suggestions, fellow?”