Chapter 127 – Demonic Thoughts Rise Once More
With the Qi Gathering pills inside, half was directly transformed into daemon qi by the daemon core. The remaining half then went through the purification and concentration of the sumeru ring. At the end, the amount for him was only a tenth of what he started with. Ten pills for him was only equivalent to one pill for someone else, which was why he could ingest them in such large quantities.
If regular Qi Practitioners were willing, they could also eat a pill every three days, or even a pill every single day. However, it would be extremely wasteful, as they would not be able to convert it all into true qi. The medicinal effects would linger in their bodies and cause detriments instead.
Li Qingshan was neither afraid of being wasteful nor was he afraid of any detriments. All he suddenly thought to himself was whether the daemon core was far too stingy.
Originally, it was simply too difficult to practise qi, which was why he suppressed the daemon core so that he could practise qi faster. But now that he had so many Qi Gathering pills, he tried changing it up.
His roots were based on the path of daemons, from the three superhuman abilities that the black ox had left him. After learning that the Strength of Nine Oxen and Two Tigers would not actually result in the Strength of Nine Oxen and Two Tigers, he automatically separated the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength and the Tiger Demon’s Fist of Bone Forging.
This was the path that led beyond the Nine Heavens that the black ox had paved for him. If he completely focused on practising qi, he would basically be neglecting his essentials, his very roots. His original intention behind returning to humanity was for resources that the wilderness could not provide.
Now, the resources were in his hands. They were these Qi Gathering pills. It was time for him to return to his original path.
After thinking through this, his mind shuddered. He stopped cultivating on the same night and leapt through the trees with Xiao An. Just a while later, he had travelled far away from the Hawkwolf Guard, arriving on the other side of the mountain. He could not see Jiaping city here. Below his feet were cliffs several hundred meters tall and the raging waters of the Clear river.
When he first came to Jiaping city, it was this cliff that had blocked the flow of water. The water here flowed particularly rapidly, so over time, it dug out a deep cave at the foot of the cliff. It was suitable for cultivation.
Li Qingshan leapt off the cliff and entered the river, kicking up a splash several meters in height. The dark water surged over from everywhere, swallowing his body. There was a small splash beside him. Xiao An had leapt in too.
He swam for a while in the water, and as expected, he found an extremely deep underwater cavern that was pitch-black, just like the gaping mouth of a colossal beast. He felt no fear at all; instead, this sight left him overjoyed. He dove deeper, diving until he reached the very bottom of the cavern.
He sucked in deeply and unleashed his daemon qi, returning to his original form.
His pupils that were as scarlet-red as fire, his skin that was pitch-black like iron, and his teeth that were as sharp as knives all appeared underwater.
From a certain perspective, this was the actual Li Qingshan.
His colossal figure that towered at twenty-two feet forcefully parted the river water, but he did not kick up any currents at all. The water flowed around him, almost like it was viscous. The deep water could cut off his daemon qi very well. He only controlled the water as much as he could so that it would flow slightly better.
Xiao An watched over from one side silently. As such, it became even safer for Li Qingshan to cultivate here.
Although the daemon qi possessed an absolute advantage, the extremely pure true qi was like a clear flow in the raging river water. It was very thin and weak, but it was unending. It would not assimilate with the daemon qi either.
Li Qingshan waved his hand, and the water parted to two sides. He took out all of his Qi Gathering pills, and after a moment of consideration, he put ten away again for his usual cultivation.
Afterwards, he tossed all of the remaining Qi Gathering pills, over sixty of them, into his huge mouth filled with teeth, swallowing them in one gulp.
He was not practising the Innate Method of Practising Qi, but the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength.
In the pitch-black depths, his scarlet hair danced around as he stamped his hooves, butted his horns, and forged his hide. All of his movements were extremely smooth and fluid. This was the ability that had begun his path of cultivation, so he was as familiar as he could get with every single part of it.
Once the Qi Gathering pills entered his body, they were like several dozen water mines exploding in the water simultaneously. His raging daemon qi immediately circulated at ten times the speed, roaring and bellowing as if it wanted to rip his body to shreds.
Although Qi Gathering pills were the most practical and mildest of pills, the fate awaiting regular Qi Practitioners would be devastating if they ate so many in a single gulp. However, he was not a Qi Practitioner right now, but a daemon, a daemon who had condensed a daemon core.
“Suppress!” Li Qingshan bellowed out like a clap of thunder in the water.
The daemon core crushed down in suppression. The figure of a spirit turtle vaguely appeared around the daemon core, roaring out silently with its head raised. Its four huge, pillar-like legs landed in the raging flow of daemon qi.
The daemon qi that had basically run out of control immediately settled down, and the flow of daemon qi became much more tame. It flowed under Li Qingshan’s control, fusing with every part of his body.
The medicinal effects were converted into daemon qi by the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression and great strength by the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength. He was utterly delighted. Yes, now this was where his roots lay.
He did not stop moving. His body produced a strange sound like the screeching of steel being stretched. Strength filled his muscles that seemed to be forged from metal; they swelled and twisted, producing quiet, bulging sounds.
He was gradually growing larger!
Twenty-three feet! Twenty-four feet! Twenty-five feet!
In just a while, he grew by three feet. Great strength surged through him. Just a casual punch of his managed to place the water under pressure, just like a cannonball. He created a large pit several meters across in the mud underneath.
Although he had yet to reach the second layer of the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength and attain the strength of two oxen, his strength still grew evidently. Clearly, the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength was just like its name. The strength of two oxen was not referring to two ordinary oxen, but two ox demons.
As his body transformed, his mind silently changed as well. He lost part of his prudence and caution as a human and gained some of the frenzy and confidence of a daemon.
With such strength, who couldn’t I kill?! Even if I’m up against Zhuo Zhibo, I could defeat him, so why should I fear a measly Zhao Liangqing? Why not use the night and go to the Parlour of Clouds and Rain to crush him to death and get some more pills for cultivation?
Li Qingshan used the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression and returned to human form. His violent nature settled down, but this thought lingered in his head. He seriously considered the benefits and costs that came with this.
His greatest worry was being exposed as a daemon. However, a tremendous difference existed between the fifth and sixth layers of Qi Practitioners as well, a fact that he was aware of. If he daemonified, he would have the strength of a sixth or even seventh layer Qi Practitioner. As long as he grasped the opportunity, he might even be able to kill him in a single strike, without raising anybody’s attention.
As long as he did it cleanly, it was possible for others to believe that Zhao Liangqing had fled or gone missing. Although he would raise suspicion after that, he was only a first layer Qi Practitioner on the surface. Who would think that he could kill a fifth layer Qi Practitioner?
The more he thought about it, the more convinced he became that it was worth a gamble. If he kept his trump card hidden away the entire time, it would be a waste. As long as everyone who saw his trump card ended up dead, his trump card was still a trump card!
Li Qingshan told Xiao An about what he was thinking, and Xiao An obviously did not object. Afterwards, the two of them began discussing deep under water about how they would assassinate a fifth layer Qi Practitioner, Zhao Liangqing.
It was both for the sake of eliminating an enemy as well as to obtain even more resources so that he could achieve the second layer of the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength sooner.
Li Qingshan swam out from the cavern and followed the river downstream. He arrived in Jiaping city, climbing ashore in a quiet, remote area. He was completely dry. He quickly dove into a pitch-black alleyway.
He moved through the maze-like streets. The seven-storeyed building in the distance served as the most obvious guide for him.
The moon was bright that night, but he could only move in the shadows and darkness. He concealed all of his aura, whether it be his daemon qi or true qi. He was like a tiger prowling in the forest, his footsteps gentle and silent.
When a passerby brushed past him, he failed to even notice his existence. All he felt was a night breeze brush past him. In the hot, stuffy summer night, it was slightly cold, chilling him to the bone. The man shivered, unable to tell that it was an aura of murderousness.
Li Qingshan stood in the alleyway behind the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. Past the twenty foot wall was the back courtyard of the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. Guards patrolled around the walls, both inside and out. It did not seem like a brothel, but more like a fortress.
Obviously, this could not stop Li Qingshan. He no longer treated people like masters of martial arts with too much importance. Scaling the wall, he first hid himself in a small, dense garden. He raised his head and breathed in deeply and slowly, taking in a lot of air. He gathered the various smells in the air.
He did not have a particularly deep impression of Zhao Liangqing’s scent, but he did with the head courtesan Furong’s smell. She had a unique perfume that could intoxicate people.
In order to strengthen his senses of smell, he released a tiny sliver of daemon qi. A black luster rapidly coated his entire body as his hair turned scarlet. At the same time, two bulges appeared on his forehead. His body swelled up by a foot as well as he turned into a muscly man who seemed like a black tower.
However, before he could change any further, he found what he was searching for. He was in no hurry to completely revert to human form either. He made his way towards the parlour. The quiet night that the Parlour of Clouds and Rain was experiencing had saved him a lot of trouble.
However, he discovered very soon that Furong’s smell did not come from above, but below. He infiltrated the cellar and discovered several hundred jars of fine alcohol, but he failed to find Furong. The smell was still below him. An underground palace was hidden deep below the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, which was no wonder why the guards had failed to find the abducted girls during their search.
Following the trace of the smell, he arrived before a wall. The smell ended there. Li Qingshan pressed his ear against the wall, and as expected, he heard the soft sounds of people talking. The underground palace was right there, but he was unable to find the way to open the path leading down. He was afraid of alarming them if he forced his way in. Moreover, he might leave behind too many traces.
In the end, it was Xiao An who was more thorough with his searching, managing to find a jar of alcohol stuck firmly to the ground; this was the mechanism to open it. However, Li Qingshan had already understood that this probably was not just an issue of thoroughness. He also needed a certain understanding of the structure of the building to perfectly grasp the mechanism.
Moving the jar, a path opened in the wall. As soon as the two of them entered, the wall closed behind them again. Before them was a dark staircase that winded downwards. Li Qingshan made his way down without any hesitation at all.
The sounds of moans rose and fell as two naked bodies slammed against one another with great intensity. Zhao Liangqing said viciously, “I have to kill him.” Furong answered with a messy reply.
Neither of them had used Pills of Calming for dual cultivation. Instead, they used the most primitive method to vent their repressed feelings.
After finishing up, Zhao Liangqing’s face was filled with exhaustion. He did not want to catch another glance of Furong. If it were not for the sake of cultivation, he would have never been willing to sleep with this woman. He ordered, “Bring those women over!”