Chapter 981 – Widow
“Sect master Qiu, this…”
Liu Changqing was tongue-tied. Li Qingshan was the great hero who had just saved Clear River city after all, so how could she treat him like this? However, ever since Qiu Haitang returned to Clear River city, she seemed to have become a completely different person. Not only did she become elusive, but even her resourcefulness of the past had completely vanished. She came off as a little cold when she faced others.
However, she was obviously allowed to act like that given her cultivation. No one dared to say anything either. Even Liu Changqing could not say anything right now despite being the prefect of Clear River. After all, the difference in their cultivation still existed!
Li Qingshan was taken aback as well. Why was Qiu Haitang not happy at all to see him, even coming off as extremely cold instead? Had she given up on him after seeing how he did not contact her after emerging from secluded cultivation? Though, it was not like he had the right to blame her for giving up on him.
“Then so be it. Why are you dressed like your man has died?”
“I’m just dressed this way!”
“Err, my condolences.” Li Qingshan caught a whiff of heavy resentment, so there was nothing else he could say. Her new lover must have been a cultivator, so he could not have died so easily to old age or disease. It was only possible for him to be killed. In the recent years, the one who caused the greatest number of cultivator deaths in the Green province was probably the Soaring Locust King, so he said, “The Soaring Locust King is truly despicable!”
He wanted to leave with just that, but then he heard Qiu Haitang say, “It’s not the Soaring Locust King. It’s the Dragon King of Ink Sea!”
“The Dragon King of Ink Sea?” Li Qingshan paused.
“Big sister Qiu, are you still thinking about that Northmoon?” Hua Chenglu walked over.
Li Qingshan turned around and gazed at Qiu Haitang in surprise. Qiu Haitang avoided his gaze. “It’s just a wretched daemon. What’s there to think of?”
Li Qingshan smiled. “Alright, since you aren’t receiving anyone, then I’ll go somewhere else. Maybe some other day!”
At this moment, Han Tieyi and the others all arrived on the rooftop.
“You can stay. I’ll go.” Qiu Haitang flew away.
Watching her fly away, Li Qingshan could not help but shake his head. When a beauty became infatuated, he had no idea whether to celebrate or worry!
“Big brother Li, big sister Qiu has become rather strange during the recent years because of Northmoon.” Hua Chenglu explained Qiu Haitang’s actions on the side. She did not want the two of them to fall out with one another.
“That’s fine. I’ve seen plenty of strange people.” Li Qingshan smiled and asked Han Tieyi, “Tieyi, where’s your sister?”
“She’s currently in secluded cultivation in the commandery city of Ruyi.”
Han Tieyi had originally been rather displeased with Li Qingshan. Despite being the son-in-law of the Han family, he had gone off to the Mist province, and that was the last of him. He really had not been responsible at all. However, now that he faced Li Qingshan, he was unable to mention any of these displeasures. It was not because he feared Li Qingshan’s strength, or because he was grateful for Li Qingshan’s kindness, but because he sensed an aura of high-spirited progress from him.
As a cultivator, if he did not advance valiantly and do all that he could to increase his cultivation, could he still be called a cultivator? The teachings of the Han family had always despised those who were caught up in love and highly praised a personality like his. This was also the exact reason why his elder sister who could even neglect a handsome man like Hua Chengzan would fall in love with him!
“Sigh, how unlucky. But that’s fine. I’ll be spending plenty of time in the Green province from here on out!”
“Big brother Li, aren’t you the White Hawk commander of the South Sea commandery? Don’t you need to go back to the Mist province?” Hua Chenglu asked. As a member of the Hawkwolf Guard, she still respected the authority of the Hawkwolf Guard very much.
“I’ve been promoted. Our big boss, the Guardian Hawk God, has told me to go to the Dragon province to accept my promotion,” said Li Qingshan.
“The Guardian Hawk God! Then wouldn’t you have to go to the Dragon province?” Hua Chenglu said with a reluctance to see him go.
“Sir Hawk God won’t be so unreasonable, would he? I’ve spent many years away from the Green province. Now that I’m finally back for once, I should be allowed to catch a break, right? I need to go and check on my master as well as deal with some important matters of life.”
“Yeah, yeah. And as a disciple of the school of Novels, you can’t go for such a long time without writing anything!” Liu Chuanfeng added from the side.
“If you hadn’t mentioned it, I would have almost forgotten I was a disciple of the school of Novels.” Li Qingshan smiled.
“Qingshan, never forget your roots! Alive, you’re a member of the school of Novels, and dead, you’re a ghost of the school of Novels.” Liu Chuanfeng smiled as well.
“You can go be the damned ghost! Alright, I’ll work on something new once I have the time.” Li Qingshan agreed happily.
The banquet unfolded on the rooftop very quickly. Li Qingshan took the main seat like it was common sense. “I’ve returned in a hurry this time, so I haven’t specially brought back any gifts or anything, but I did end up accumulating some special produce of the Mist province over the years. Please have a taste.”
These spiritual fruits and medicinal alcohol were all spoils he had obtained from his battles. They had already become useless for him, such that all he could savour was their taste. They were perfect for entertaining the guests.
However, these spiritual fruits and alcohol bore an entirely different significance to Foundation Establishment cultivators. Just the glow they gave off exposed their value. They only accepted it after declining many times out of modesty, thanking Li Qingshan.
“Big brother Li, I heard the south is a land of wilderness. Is there anything special about it compared to the Green province?”
Hua Chenglu looked at Li Qingshan seriously. She had not been able to look at him properly during the chaotic battle earlier, but now, she could see just how he had changed despite not changing. He seemed even more confident and in high spirits as if everything in the world lay in his palm. Suddenly, she recalled the kiss from all those years ago.
“If you want to talk about the special aspects, then there’s plenty…”
Li Qingshan took a sip of alcohol and began telling her about the various cultures and customs of the Mist province, ranging from the canniabilitistic Bone Eating tribe and Savage mountain occupied by demonic cultivators to the mysterious Merfolk sea fair and the banyan forest that spanned for thousands of kilometers.
Hua Chenglu entered a short daze as she listened to him. Her eyes were filled with anticipation. The distant land of the south was even more wondrous than its description in the books.
The rooftop fell quiet. The others all listened attentively too. They were cultivators, countless times more powerful than mortals, but just like how mortals could not leave a village or a city, they had their own shackles too. Perhaps they would never be able to reach the distant South sea in their entire lives.
As he told his stories, Li Qingshan’s gaze drifted away. The various scenes of the past appeared before his eyes, as well as the adventures that he could not mention. When he returned to his senses, he gazed at the familiar faces and the familiar scene around him and came to a realisation.
“I really do want to go back.”
Li Qingshan looked up at the stars. He did his best to chase after strength, not just for the sake of defeating something or possessing something, but to break free from his restraints, to see sights he had never seen before, to go to places he had never been before!
Beyond the Nine Heavens was still rather distant, but he had not abandoned his promise either.
After the banquet, everyone dispersed, and Li Qingshan became slightly tipsy as well. Liu Chuanfeng invited him to return to Cloudwisp island to take a look, but he declined. “Let me go back to my dwelling first and deal with this Soaring Locust King’s clone. I’ll visit the academy in a few days’ time.”
With that, he left the prefectural city, but he did not return to the Chain mountains. Instead, he flew towards the south-west according to his feelings, arriving before a lake surrounded by mountains. Sensing the aura from the bottom of the lake, he smiled and leapt into the water.
“Your man is back!”