Chapter 115 – Directly Passing
The Qi Practitioner who had directly confronted Li Qingshan before walked past him as he sneered. He whispered, “I’d like to see how you die. You better pray to the heavens that you don’t match up with me.”
Li Qingshan smiled. “I trust that I won’t be matched up with you.” Afterwards, under the gazes of all of the Qi Practitioners, he made his way through the square and arrived below the pavilion. Two envoys stopped him. “What are you trying to do?”
Li Qingshan ignored the envoys. He raised his head and called out, “May I ask if commander Zhuo Zhibo is present?”
“What’s he trying to do?” “Is he sick of living?” The group of Qi Practitioners were stunned, and the Black Wolf guards in the pavilion were surprised as well.
Bulbous nose mumbled, “Looks like I’m wrong. The kid is going to die before the competition even begins.”
“Chase him away!” Zhuo Zhibo frowned. Was his name something a little Qi Practitioner could refer to directly?
Two Hawkwolf Guards outside the corridor drew their swords conveniently, while the other Hawkwolf Guards remained the same as before, keeping the attitude of watching a show.
“I’ll wager that he’ll be able to endure three moves at the very least!” Bulbous nose’s words immediately made his two colleagues with the drawn blades slightly more serious. One of them even replied, “Then let’s gamble!”
Zhou Wenbin said suddenly, “Hold on! Commander Zhuo, that’s the person I’ve gambled on. I can’t accept the losses if he dies. He might be seeking you out for actual matters. Why don’t we see what he has to say?” The smile in his eyes grew deeper. He stood up and made his way to the corridor, while Zhuo Zhibo followed along. He felt slightly uneasy inside.
Zhuo Zhibo looked down on Li Qingshan from above. “What do you want?”
“Commander Wang Pushi sent me here.” There was a dark flash in Li Qingshan’s hand, which shot up the pavilion.
Zhuo Zhibo extended a hand and caught it. It was a Black Wolf tablet. The matter from several months ago suddenly crossed his mind. He raised his head and looked at Li Qingshan. “Are you that person?” He had never thought that the kid who had caused Feng Zhang to be expelled and earned him a scolding from Wang Pushi would actually still be alive. Moreover, he would actually be bold enough to show himself before him.
Li Qingshan spread his hands and shrugged. “In the flesh.”
Zhou Wenbin smiled due to the success of his scheme. “Commander Zhou? what’s this about?”
Zhuo Zhibo said with a sunken expression, “Sir Zhou has schemed well, so why must you ask despite knowing the answer?” He had always taken pride in his intelligence, but he had fallen for Zhou Wenbin’s scheme today, so he was in a horrible mood. As he looked at Li Qingshan, he was tempted to smack him to death.
“Does commander Wang’s word count?” Li Qingshan said, completely ignoring Zhuo Zhibo’s anger. From the moment he laid his eyes on Zhuo Zhibo, he had stopped worrying. From what he saw, Zhuo Zhibo was only at the level of a daemon that had just condensed a daemon core. He was within the range he could deal with.
The sixth layer, Qi Practitioners who had split open a sea of qi, were roughly similar to daemons who had condensed a daemon core. With how long daemons needed to cultivate for, it did not come without benefits. Their bodies were tough and their daemon qi was heavy, so they were much more powerful than humans of the same level. They basically possessed a one-sided advantage. Humans could only barely maintain a stalemate against them with spiritual artifacts and talismans as weapons. In the end, they would have to rely on intelligence and numbers to defeat daemons.
With the assistance from Xiao An who practised the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty, Li Qingshan was obviously filled with confidence due to his strength. Since he knew it was impossible for Zhuo Zhibo to take a liking to him, and he was not a person who would bend over backwards to get people to like him, he would just go with the flow. However, in the eyes of onlookers, he seemed rather arrogant.
There was not a single person in the Clear River prefecture who was bold enough to say that Wang Pushi’s word did not count. At the very least, Zhuo Zhibo was not one of them. His expression changed a few times before recovering his composure. He even smiled a little, tossing the Black Wolf tablet back down. “Li Qingshan, you are now a Hawkwolf Guard. Wait down there.”
“Thank you for accepting me, commander Zhuo!” Li Qingshan clasped his hands, but he became even more cautious inside. People who could control their emotions were like venomous snakes hiding in the grass. They were even more terrifying than furious lions or tigers.
With that, the observing Hawkwolf Guards could not help but be taken aback, while the enlisting Qi Practitioners were thrown into an uproar. Just like that, the three positions had become two. The clown who was supposed to die in their eyes had actually passed directly using such a method, so the Qi Practitioners immediately felt that it was unfair.
“This is unfair! Why doesn’t he need to take part in the competition?” The Qi Practitioner who had confronted Li Qingshan and wanted him dead called out.
“He’s just a first layer Qi Practitioner. Even people like that can just join the Hawkwolf Guard?”
Diao Fei and Qian Rongzhi looked at Li Qingshan from afar. They were filled with surprise and shock, no less than the people around them. They said nothing. How could a measly Qi Practitioner change the decision of a Black Hawk commander? They wondered to themselves just how he was able to force Zhuo Zhibo into directly accepting him. Did he possess a powerful backer, Wang Pushi? Who was that?
Wang Pushi’s nickname, old Wang, had spread just too much, which instead made many people forget about his real name. However, as two well-informed, quick-witted people, they immediately realised it. Was it the legendary Scarlet Hawk commander, old Wang? It couldn’t be. He was a figure who watched over all Qi Practitioners in the Clear River prefecture, one of the three rulers over this expanse of one thousand five hundred kilometers.
However, aside from him, there was no one else who could force Zhuo Zhibo into making this decision despite being absent in person. Then they looked at Li Qingshan and felt that the regular sixteen-year-old now had an aura of mystery about him. If that really was the person behind him, he would be a figure that they could never afford to provoke.
Diao Fei thought about just how he had managed to establish a tie with a figure like that. It only seemed to make sense now that he could kill Qian Rongming without even batting an eye.
Zhou Wenbin looked at the clamorous surroundings with a smile and said to Zhuo Zhibo, “I was only just joking with you earlier. As I’ve said, I don’t like gambling at all, so please forgive me, commander Zhuo.”
“That may be true for you, but my word has always counted. Sir Zhou, are you perhaps looking down on my wager?” Zhuo Zhibo smiled sunkenly. He picked up a walnut from the platter of fruit and nuts on the table.
Li Qingshan suddenly felt a terrifying aura of murderousness. Out of everyone present, there were only three people who could clearly sense it. Li Qingshan was one of them.
The walnut shot off with enough force to pierce rocks, flying through the air. It smashed through countless droplets of rain, leaving behind an empty tunnel in its trajectory before slamming into the forehead of the second layer Qi Practitioner.
The walnut shattered, and so did the skull. The Qi Practitioner’s expression remained furious as his head was thrown into the ground. His neck snapped as he collapsed in a twisted manner.
All of the Qi Practitioners shut their mouths, as if someone had grabbed them by the neck at the same time. Every single one of them were prodigies in their hometowns, standing above all. They held power over the lives and property of the people of the jianghu, let alone ordinary people.
Yet right now, a Qi Practitioner that was just as noble as them had his life taken away in such an easy manner; it was as simple as slaughtering a chicken. Moreover, the person who just died could have been any one of them. He was just unlucky, which was why he was chosen and made an example out of.
They looked at the cause of all this, at Zhuo Zhibo who stood in the pavilion. His short, chubby stature suddenly seemed wide and tall. They all suddenly realised something. This was Jiaping city, the place with the most and strongest Qi Practitioners within a region of several hundred kilometers. Currently, they happened to be standing in the territory of the Hawkwolf Guard, which possessed the most and strongest Qi Practitioners in the city. They were afraid of even uttering an extra word. Even their dissatisfaction vanished.
Li Qingshan exhaled. This was the reality.
A great disparity existed between each layer for Qi Practitioners. If second layer Qi Practitioners wanted to defeat a third layer Qi Practitioner, they could rely on a numerical advantage or a powerful talisman to achieve victory. However, against a fourth layer Qi Practitioner, they could only pray to the heavens that they could escape. Up against a fifth layer Qi Practitioner, it would be certain death.
And, the difference between the fifth and sixth layers was even greater than the previous differences; it was just like how it was impossible for a daemonic beast to defeat a daemon that had condensed a daemon core. For a sixth layer Qi Practitioner who had split open a sea of qi, killing a measly second layer Qi Practitioner was even easier than eating or drinking. Let alone fleeing, they could not even react in time.
Normally, Zhuo Zhibo would have never been so intense with his punishment. After all, every single Qi Practitioner held great influence in the places that they came from, or they originated from clans or sects. He did not want to develop grievances for no good reason. However, he was furious right now, so he could no longer care. They were just a mere Qi Practitioner, so if they died, they died. Was someone supposed to come avenge them?
Zhuo Zhibo glanced past Li Qingshan nonchalantly. Li Qingshan could feel that the person he actually wanted to throw the walnut at was himself. However, he only returned his gaze with a smile. Zhuo Zhibo’s frown grew deeper. Normal people would be utterly frightened when they witnessed unstoppable power, and if that person was hostile to you as well, it would lead to severe mental pressure as well. As time went on, it could even drive people insane.
However, he saw no fear from Li Qingshan at all. Instead, he remained extremely calm and composed. Either Li Qingshan was an idiot who knew no fear, or he had something he could depend on. The answer was clearly the latter.
Zhuo Zhibo obviously did not believe Li Qingshan’s confidence originated from his personal strength, so it had to be due to his backing. However, Wang Pushi had never explained his relationship with Li Qingshan to him. He only told him about Feng Zhang’s expulsion and Li Qingshan’s offer without much thought. He seemed very unconcerned when he did that. Zhuo Zhibo could not help but look at Zhou Wenbin. This bastard had a lot of ties to Clear River city, so he must have known something.
Zhou Wenbin cleared his thoughts. “Commander Zhuo, I heard the White Hawk of the Ruyi commander met with this kid and even invited him to a cup of alcohol, getting officer old Wang to give the mental map of the Green province he carried around to him.”
“Really?” Zhuo Zhibo’s heart shivered. A name resounded through his mind, along with the white figure that he could never forget about even after catching just a single glimpse. He was rather well-informed as well, knowing that commander Gu had once appeared in a small, remote city. He even knew that Feng Zhang had gotten unlucky, embarrassing old Wang in front of commander Gu, which led to his direct expulsion.
However, he was unaware of the details at all, as none of the people present were people he could investigate. The reason why Zhou Wenbin knew about this was because his friend had dined with Hua Chengzan before with the presence of beautiful women.