Chapter 149 – The Flesh and Blood of a Thousand People
Xiao An parted his hands and several hundred skeletons flew before him with a series of rattles, forming a tight sphere.
The Pale Flames of Bone Smelting surged up and swallowed the sphere of bones. Its surface gradually melted.
Xiao An brought his hands together and sat in a meditative pose; his eyes were directed to his nose, and his nose was directed to his heart. However, there was nothing. He had no eyes, no nose, and no heart. He chanted the buddhist scriptures, but he made no sound.
This was an extremely strange and terrifying sight, yet he happened to give off an aura of solemnity and righteousness. There was nothing related to evil or the undead.
The process of melting the bone sphere was extremely slow, but under Xiao An’s control, the Pale Flames of Bone Smelting burned more and more vigorously.
Unknowingly, another half a month had passed. Ever since that night when he learned alchemy, Qian Rongzhi had visited him several times, but she failed to get any benefit out of him, so she hurried back to Jiaping city. The only message she left behind was that she would await his return to Jiaping city.
As for Li Qingshan’s peaceful lifestyle, it finally began to fall apart.
Although the Qian family’s reign over the Ancient Wind city had collapsed, it would not turn the city into a happy paradise where people could live in peace. This world was not a fairytale world where people could live happily.
In the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. The people of the martial arts society that Qi Practitioners had originally suppressed began to show up. They formed gangs and fought for territory. Every single day, they would have several battles on the street over the possession of each brothel in the city, with even more battles and assassinations that happened in the dark.
On this day, Li Qingshan went to a restaurant he frequented and ordered a table of delicious dishes. As soon as he began to eat, a large number of people flooded the place and ordered all the customers to leave. It seemed like the leaders of the two largest gangs in the western part of the city wanted to negotiate something.
A burly man arrived before Li Qingshan’s table and said impatiently, “Are you done eating? If you’re done, then get out of here!”
Li Qingshan looked at the burly man before looking at his table of food and drinks. He shook his head firmly. “I’m not done.”
The burly man said, “Kid, have some sense. Don’t act like you have a tough backbone. I’ve crushed many bones in the past few days.”
Against a threat that had no substance and had no deterrent influence at all, Li Qingshan could not even rouse his anger. He just sighed over how he really had been a little too laid-back recently.
The burly man lost his temper. He launched an attack without any hesitation at all. He was just as he seemed on the surface, all brawn and no brain, no, he did not even have brawn actually.
The burly man flew out of the restaurant and knocked down a wall. However, with one man down, several dozen stood up. They all leered at him. They yelled out a few threats that had just about the same substance as the previous one before charging over together. Afterwards, they all flew out of the restaurant.
Only then did the remaining people suddenly seem to come to a realisation. They stood there trembling and watched Li Qingshan finish his meal, place the money on the table, and make his way out of the door. He muttered to himself, “What peaceful life? If I didn’t have the strength, I wouldn’t even be able to have a proper meal.”
The two gang leaders walked over from the two ends of the street as their own people surrounded them. In order to show their contempt for each other, they had both chosen to come late out of pure coincidence. However, they just happened to catch Li Qingshan at the entrance, or should one say, Li Qingshan just happened to catch them at the entrance.
As soon as Li Qingshan made his way down the steps of the restaurant, he raised his head and looked at the hazy sky. Summer was almost over.
“Who are you?”
Li Qingshan thought about how they truly were the bosses after all. At the very least, they would ask about their opponent’s origins and name. Of course, this was very likely due to overestimating him. The several dozen men groaning on the ground played quite an effect.
“I am Li Qingshan of the Hawkwolf Guard. You are their bosses. Your crime of attacking a Hawkwolf Guard on the street cannot be forgiven. Today, I will be executing you on the spot… forget it, I don’t have much interest in killing lately, so let’s just say it’s your lucky day.”
As Li Qingshan spoke and his aura rose, the two bosses turned sheet-white. Even in ten year’s time, the people of Ancient Wind city would not forget about his name. Of all the people they could run into, why him?
When Li Qingshan said ‘executing you on the spot’, their knees had already given way. They could not even plead for their lives. They just closed their eyes, waiting for their deaths. However, Li Qingshan’s tone and aura suddenly declined like a singer unable to hit a high note; it was as if he had just chosen to give up on it.
Only when Li Qingshan’s figure vanished did their subordinates help up the two bosses. They looked at each other with the joy of surviving a disaster. In the end, the two of them put aside their differences because of this encounter and celebrated together, forming a new gang. The rest was self-explanatory.
Li Qingshan returned to his courtyard and smacked his face in the mirror. “Get yourself together, Li Qingshan!”
Suddenly, he felt like he understood the mindset of those so-called masters, like ‘someone like you is unworthy of me killing you’. However, he immediately made up his mind to abandon this mindset. You’re still just a low level Qi Practitioner. You’re nowhere close to the point where you can be pretentious. Yep, no matter who provokes me in the future, I’ll step over them, even if it’s just a piece of shit on the ground.
Then, Li Qingshan looked towards the pit. Xiao An, are you well?
He had already begun to miss Jiaping city and Zhuo Zhibo.
Only when he was under pressure did he have motivation. Compared to this peaceful, tasteless lifestyle, he would much prefer running into powerful enemy after powerful enemy, where he needed to do everything he could to kill a way out. However, once he returned this time, Li Qingshan probably could give him a surprise.
Although he had been rather lazy, he had not stopped cultivating in the past half a month. With almost two hundred Qi Gathering pills down his belly, not only did his daemon qi grow tremendously, but he had even completely consolidated his cultivation at the second layer as well. Pure, plentiful true qi flowed through his Yang Heel meridian endlessly. He had touched on the boundary of the fifth layer of the Innate Method of Practising Qi as well.
Within the pit, the tremendous sphere of bones had already melted completely. It formed a pure-white, crystalline sphere, but at a closer glance, it was actually an extremely hideous skull.
The several hundred skeletons had only managed to be smelted into this tiny prayer bead. Xiao An held the prayer bead between his fingers. If he wanted to gather a string of the Skull Prayer Beads, he would need fourteen at the very least. White bone spiritual artifacts were actually so difficult to forge.
This was also the reason why Xiao An had chosen the Skull Prayer Beads as his first spiritual artifact. Every single item recorded in the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty possessed devastatingly great might. They were not items he could forge and play around with at his current realm.
However, he could forge the Skull Prayer Beads one by one. There was no need for him to forge them all at once. He could take it step by step.
Xiao An held the prayer bead in his hand. He could sense that his mind was connected to it; it was as if the prayer bead was not an independent spiritual artifact, but a part of his body. The reality was not far from that either.
The flames in the pit subsided, returning to his skull. Only two balls of fire remained in his eyes. He leapt through the soil and left the pit by following Li Qingshan’s aura.
Having lost the invisible supporting force, the layer of earth on top immediately collapsed. It was discovered by people on the very next day. The remains of the Qian family had vanished into thin air. It became a mystery.
In the darkness, Li Qingshan opened his eyes as he smiled. “Xiao An, are you done?”
The glassy little skeleton stood before him with red and white mixed around in the flames in his eyes.
Li Qingshan rubbed his head. “You really are much more pretty.” At least from the perspective of a skeleton, that was.
Xiao An opened his hand and presented the Skull Prayer Bead like it was a treasure.
Li Qingshan picked up the prayer bead. “What is this?” The prayer bead suddenly broke free from his grasp and flew around the room. It formed a white blur as it produced a string of swishes. It was actually no slower than Zhou Wenbin’s flying sword.
Li Qingshan was stunned. “Is this… a spiritual artifact?” It was a mid grade spiritual artifact at the very least.
With a smile, Xiao An bent his finger, and the prayer bead in the air suddenly swelled in size, turning into a huge skull. The teeth chattered as they collided together, like it was producing a strange laughter. Its eye sockets contained red and white flames similar to Xiao An’s.
When a child obtained something good, he would obviously show it off to the person who was the closest to them.
When Li Qingshan learnt the whole story of Xiao An forging an artifact, he could not help but sigh emotionally once more. The Path of White Bone and Great Beauty sure was nice. This White Bone Bodhisattva was very thorough with his considerations. If there was no weapon, they would suffer against the enemy even if their abilities and techniques were powerful.
Due to being connected to the user, the white bone spiritual artifacts could be wielded with great ease, however Xiao An liked. As a result, it was even more powerful than regular spiritual artifacts.
In fact, calling it a white bone spiritual artifact was not particularly correct. Even though it was just a single prayer bead, it was far more powerful than just a spiritual artifact. However, due to Xiao An’s limited cultivation and materials, he could only forge it to such a level for now.
The Skull Prayer Beads were the easiest to forge, but they definitely were not the weakest. Fourteen beads formed the smallest string of prayer beads. It would be followed by eighteen, twenty-one, until one thousand and eighty, resulting in a total of ten levels. They could try immortals and buddhas and possessed boundless powers.
Li Qingshan expressed his admiration once again before asking about what he cared the most, “Can you sense just how many more sacrifices you need before you can rebuild your body?”
Xiao An lowered his head and fiddled with his fingers before raising his head and extending a single finger.
He still required the flesh and blood of a thousand people!
Li Qingshan said, “That’s a very formidable task, but at least we have some sight of it. Let’s go cause a massacre then!”
The moment he extended his finger, the world was destined to lose a thousand evil people.
On the same night, Li Qingshan went to the government office and received the silver from selling the property from the district magistrate. Although they had been sold in a hurry, there were still over a million taels of silver. It was enough to exchange for ten Qi Gathering pills from Zhou Wenbin.
They did not even wait for the next day. Li Qingshan hurried out of the city with Xiao An during the night. He did not even glance back at Ancient Wind city. He no longer had any plans to return here.
In the pond of lily pads on the mountainside, a carp swam around freely, shaking up the lily pads. Their destiny had ended today. Who knows whether they would meet again.
Li Qingshan strode through the darkness in a straight path. By dawn, he had already arrived at a port on Clear River. He boarded a large ship and sailed downstream, heading directly towards Jiaping.
In Jiaping city, Zhuo Zhibo said, “In other words, he really did defeat Qian Yannian?”
Qian Rongzhi said, “Yeah. I find it quite difficult to believe as well. That old coot Qian Yannian had weakened with age. He was far too useless. He probably never thought Li Qingshan would be a Body Practitioner, so he was careless, and Li Qingshan managed to get him. Looks like you’ll have to take action personally.”
When Qian Rongzhi left Ancient Wind city, she travelled slowly as she had hired a great cart in order to bring the spiritual artifact cauldron with her. She had only just arrived back at Jiaping.
Zhuo Zhibo immediately summoned her to confirm the news he received from Diao Fei. Not only was Li Qingshan still alive, but he had even defeated a fifth layer Qi Practitioner.