Chapter 142 – Carrying out Justice
The verdant green vines formed quite a contrast with the world of blood and darkness. It extended and grew, teeming with vigor as it formed a tight cocoon.
For quite a while, only the rustling of the green vines were present.
Qian Rongzhi had stopped talking at a certain time. She just stared at the verdant cocoon dazedly.
After confirming Qian Yannian’s death, Diao Fei rushed up urgently and removed the vines. He searched through Qian Yannian’s body, but he obviously failed to find the hundred treasures pouch.
He could not help but turn back and look at the tenacious sixteen-year-old, but all he saw was him standing among the blood and corpses, gazing at the night sky. His gaze was basically drawn away by the night sky. The moonlight enveloped his body as if all of this bloodiness had nothing to do with him.
The stars in the summer night sky were extremely resplendent, where even the moon failed to drown them out. Li Qingshan discovered that compared to all of these corpses, the starry sky was still prettier.
He was not putting on an act like he was contemplating the philosophies of life. Instead, he just suddenly felt lament, but he was unable to describe what he was lamenting over. He could not help but think of that dream again, where all the stars were submerged in a sea of blood.
After thinking about all that, Li Qingshan lowered his head. “How many did you get?”
“Three. Two escaped.”
“That’s pretty good.”
“You’re too kind.”
It was a very short conversation. Diao Fei obviously would not ask where Qian Yannian’s hundred treasures pouch was like an idiot, nor did he ask Li Qingshan to give him a share of it. Originally, he had his own plans as well, which was to chase down the utterly harmless second layer Qi Practitioners. After that, he would quietly return here to check on the development of the situation. If Li Qingshan were dead, he would leave quietly and report back to Zhuo Zhibo. Such an approach ensured that he would be in no danger at all.
However, he had never thought that Li Qingshan would actually be able to reduce Qian Yannian to such a state. Diao Fei knew the best himself. His Entangling Vines could never capture a fifth layer Qi Practitioner under ordinary circumstances. Qian Yannian was clearly at the end of his rope—all because of Li Qingshan.
Although it all seemed extremely difficult, Li Qingshan had truly managed to tire out and waste away a fifth layer Qi Practitioner. It was still best for Diao Fei to maintain some respect for the powerful.
Although the Qi Practitioners below the mountain were far away, they had many ways to see what happened on the mountain. All of their faces were filled with disbelief. From the beginning till the end, they had not seen a single hidden master from the Hawkwolf Guard. It had just been the teenager, all by himself. As a second layer Qi Practitioner, he had actually managed to battle with Qian Yannian for so long?
In the end, he even won somehow. Had Qian Yannian really grown senile to the point where he would be defeated like this? This was probably the only explanation.
Gong Liangbai murmured, “How’s this possible?” He spoke the minds of all the Qi Practitioners present.
With a clang, the Water-splitting barb fell to the floor; faint sobs followed.
The moment Qian Rongzhi saw Qian Yannian’s corpse, she shuddered. Her smile vanished completely, and she remained dazed for quite a while as a warm liquid flowed down her face. They were not tears of blood, just ordinary tears.
She did not know why she was crying. She just suddenly burst into tears.
Li Qingshan and Diao Fei looked at each other. Neither of them said anything.
Li Qingshan took in a deep breath and announced, “Today, the Hawkwolf Guard, composed of Li Qingshan, Diao Fei, and Qian Rongzhi, has formally carried out justice and executed Qian Yannian here.” He paused before adding, “And we’ve destroyed the Qian family as a warning for others. You Qi Practitioners are naturally endowed, so take this as a lesson. If you turn a blind eye to what is right and wrong, act as you please, and defy the principles of nature and morality, this will be your fate!”
His loud, clear voice drowned out Qian Rongzhi’s sobs. It reached the bottom of the mountain clearly, resounding through the entire city.
The first cheer came from a gloomy corner in an alleyway. It came from an abject scholar. He could not help but sigh in admiration, but even when he did so, he did it carefully. Two years ago, the Qian family wanted to build a garden, so they forcefully demolished his ancestral home. His wife and children became homeless, and out of pure anger, his wife fell sick, which almost claimed her life. He managed to make it through this rough patch after great difficulty, renting a small room and relying on his calligraphy to barely make ends meet. However, the indignation remained within him. Originally, he wanted to repress it for the rest of his life, but he never thought there would finally be a day of retribution.
However, his cheer was like the start of a chain reaction. It led to a tremendous clamour, rising steeply and reaching the terrace at the top of the mountain, as if it was a response to Li Qingshan’s proclamation.
All Li Qingshan saw was Ancient Wind city ablaze with lanterns. Countless people emerged from their homes, cheering in excitement. Many people hugged each other tearfully as they walked around the city. It was as if a huge celebration of a festival was taking place. The lanterns and firecrackers that the Qian family had forced them to prepare finally came into use. However, they were now celebrating the end of the Qian family.
Li Qingshan smiled. Perhaps there were many innocent people among the corpses on the ground. However, he was not some perfect hero, scrupulous over morality. Couldn’t he just bear the burden of a few human lives? If the entire Qian family was slaughtered, then they were slaughtered. There was nothing he was afraid to admit.
How could the misfortune of one be compared to the misfortune of many?
Only the expressions of the Qi Practitioners hidden within the darkness changed drastically. Li Qingshan’s threatening tone clearly targeted them. They found it humiliating, and they felt furious, but at the same time, they could not help but repress it. They even felt a sliver of fear. They subconsciously checked themselves to see if they were the same as the Qian family or not.
Barely killing Qian Yannian and the destruction of the Qian family led to cheers from all; it was as if Li Qingshan was a god who enforced law, standing on an altar and glaring and provoking all sorts of evil spirits. No one was bold enough to openly confront them. All could only shrink back and tremble.
Li Qingshan did not show any respect to these people. It did not necessarily mean that they had all committed heinous deeds like Qian Yannian just because they came to celebrate the birthday. As a matter of fact, they would probably try to explain themselves as completely ignorant of the Qian family’s actions. However, there was not a single person who could not hear the cries, wails, and howls that even echoed through the clouds. Unfortunately, they probably all just turned a deaf ear to it. They were knowledgeable about protecting themselves. They would not offend a Qi Practitioner clan over some common people.
The Qi Practitioners all remained hidden in the darkness as they left Ancient Wind city. They all memorised one name.
Li Qingshan said, “Have you cried enough?”
Qian Rongzhi raised her head in confusion.
Li Qingshan said, “If you’ve cried enough, then let’s go. Our mission is complete!” He had already obtained what he wanted.
With that, he glanced at the top of a tree in the distance before making his way down the mountain with no regard to Diao Fei or Qian Rongzhi.
Qian Rongzhi said, “Hold on!”
Li Qingshan turned around in doubt, and all he saw was Qian Rongzhi smile from ear to ear. She wiped away her tears and said, “I still haven’t grabbed anything yet!” Afterwards, she flipped through the pile of corpses as she said, “If you leave behind a weak girl like me, I’ll be scared.”
Li Qingshan was taken aback. Originally, he thought the pressure she was under would ease up after achieving revenge. Perhaps she would not achieve instantaneous comprehension about everything in the whole wide world, but at least she should have developed some understanding towards life and lose some of her pettiness and viciousness. However, the reality was the exact opposite. Revenge had indeed released certain things in her heart.
However, what was released was not some great feeling of joy, or any repressed purity or kind-heartedness. She finally did not have to act as the young miss of the Qian family anymore. As she laughed amidst the pile of corpses, the craziness seemed to become a part of her, twisting her even more.
Only now did Li Qingshan understand that instantaneous enlightenment and repentance was all just stuff from fairytales. The true norm of the world was that while the world was easy to change, the nature of people were not. There were both buddhas and demons in the world, or perhaps, that was the norm as well?
Qian Rongzhi bowed slightly. “Thank you for helping out today. Only then was I able to achieve revenge. If you don’t mind, I’m willing to offer up myself.” She smiled from ear to ear. She seemed to be in an extremely good mood.
Li Qingshan did not stop at all, while Diao Fei walked away even faster, acting like he was avoiding the plague. They pulled away from Qian Rongzhi’s crazy laughter.
Qian Rongzhi paced around through the corpses like a pitch-black ghost. She had stopped searching for things a long time ago. Instead, she was more like an artist, admiring her greatest piece of work, like a tourist strolling through a wonderful garden.
She would stop from time to time, holding a familiar face and saying some things to it. Even when there was no reply, she would still giggle for quite a while. Compared to this purgatory of corpses, she seemed much stranger and more terrifying.
Having received Li Qingshan’s signal, Xiao An did not leave immediately. Instead, he remained hidden to one side, sinking into an intense thought process.
The eminent monk was gifted with both fortune and wisdom. The world seemed like it was on fire, in a sea of misery, with all people submerged within it. They were afflicted with greed, hatred, and ignorance and were unable to break free from it. As a result, the eminent monk practised Mahāyāna buddhism, yet he was still unable to help and save all living creatures. He either took pity on their misfortune or was furious at their incapability.
With pity came endless benevolence. With fury came an endless urge to kill.
In the face of the great tribulation of the world, between life and death, he discovered that there was still something obstructing his heart. He gained an understanding of himself again, so he followed his true nature, swearing the four encompassing vows. As such, nothing obstructed him anymore, allowing him to overcome the tribulation.
Just like māra with their natures of great malevolence, they understood their natures and slaughtered freely, achieving ishvara or unencumberance, standing on equal footing to buddha.
“Oh, I understand now. The eminent monk was an ultimate genius who saw how all the living creatures were so foolish and stupid. They would never listen to him no matter what he said, and they would never understand him no matter how he put it, so it cast a shadow in his heart, but then it was repressed by the three words ‘I am benevolent’, so he could only keep it repressed inside, unable to release it. As a result, he experienced tremendous pressure.”
“Compared to bringing salvation to an idiot, no, a bunch of idiots, it was just easier to kill them off with a single stroke. It’s just like a group of flies surrounding him all day long, so he caught one, split open its stomach, and dragged out its organs, using its own organs to choke it. Heh, even its tongue would stick out! Afterwards, he would raise his blade; once it fell, whoosh, the whole world was peaceful.”
In a small inn below the mountain, Xiao An wrote down his understanding on a piece of paper and told Li Qingshan. That was what Li Qingshan said after thinking about it.
His words left Xiao An utterly stunned. He felt like with what Li Qingshan said, this eminent monk was nowhere near as impressive as he seemed to be. The White Bone Bodhisattva was one who possessed great wisdom and great power even after descending into the demonic path, but now, all the pains and sufferings this bodhisattva went through seemed no different from the hardships of common people.
Li Qingshan said, “Look, Xiao An, let me tell you. If you want to live as a person, the most important part is being happy. It’s not different for skeletons either. You can’t go to the extremes. Everyone who goes to the extremes has something wrong with their heads. If you come across someone, you are welcome to reason with them, but if reason doesn’t work, just give them a swing of your blade.”
Author’s Postscript: It all seems to be too intense lately, so I added some wisdom from Li Qingshan to ease it up. We’re currently approaching the name and synopsis of this volume step by step. Oi, oi, oi, instead of caring for some twisted woman, let’s worry about our cute Xiao An instead. That’s more important. Look, when it comes to writing, the most important part is the monthly tickets. You all understand me.