Chapter 161 – Forcing Back the West Gate Granny
The West Gate Granny waved her hand. “Miss Hua, I’ll show some respect to your Hua family, but don’t try biting off more than you can chew. This is an important matter of our Sect of Clouds and Rain. You best not interfere. Take these people and get out of here!”
Hua Chenglu refused to oblige. “Since he’s a Hawkwolf guard, then he’s under my elder brother’s command. I can’t just turn a blind eye to all of this. If you have the skill, why don’t you kill me as well? Then there’ll be no one to report you. Otherwise, you’re a kidnapper of children and a murderer of a Hawkwolf guard.”
The West Gate Granny’s face became even more frigid. She had thought of this several times already. If she were just a regular member of the Hua family, she would have done it a long time ago. Nothing would happen as long as she left behind no evidence.
However, Hua Chenglu was the little princess of the Hua family. Even if there was no direct evidence, the Hua family would never spare her as long as they found out she had passed by Lakeside city. Even the Sect of Clouds and Rain would not be able to protect her.
As a result, the West Gate Granny could only change up her attitude. She said to Li Qingshan earnestly, “Children really know nothing. A girly with the Aspect of Heavenly Fragrance and Beauty will only serve as the source of a colossal disaster to you. If you hand her to me, you’ll be able to end your grievance with the Sect of Clouds and Rain. Moreover, I have everything you want, whether it be pills or spiritual artifacts. I can let you pick whatever you want.”
Xiao An grabbed the corner of Li Qingshan’s clothes, while Li Qingshan only said two words to the West Gate Granny, “Piss off!”
The West Gate Granny was completely angered now. She raised her hand that was no different from a chicken’s claw and true qi surged out violently. Just from a few feet away, it pierced Li Qingshan to a point where his face twisted in pain.
Hua Chenglu stamped her foot and called out, “How dare you!”
The West Gate Granny hesitated for quite a while before viciously pulling back. Clearly, she was not bold enough to do that. “This girly will definitely end up with the Sect of Clouds and Rain. I would like to see whether you can keep hiding behind a girl.” With that, she climbed into her carriage and took off into the fog.
Hua Chenglu let out a deep sigh, and Li Qingshan eased up as well. He turned around and said, “Thank you for upholding justice and providing assistance.” If it were not for Hua Chenglu, he was confident that while the West Gate Granny would not have been able to catch them so easily, his daemon form and Xiao An’s ability would have been exposed, leading to endless trouble. As for killing the West Gate Granny, that was basically impossible for him right now.
Hua Chenglu nodded in a rather generous fashion. “It’s no problem.” Afterwards, she waved her small hand. “Let’s talk on the ship.”
Li Qingshan nodded and boarded the Wave Breaker with Xiao An and Hua Chenglu. The group of orthodox masters still ended up searching through the ruins of the island as they refused to believe that this was all a scheme. However, they obviously found nothing.
Someone said in wonder, “Why aren’t there any corpses?”
“Don’t tell me they were all blasted apart by the cannons?”
“But they couldn’t have been blasted to a point where they vanished.”
Li Qingshan became wary. Devouring flesh and blood on a large scale for the sake of training would definitely lead to suspicion. If he attracted the attention of someone sharp-witted, he would become suspicious sooner or later. He needed to become even more careful. Fortunately, Xiao An had already reconstructed his body, so they were in no hurry to gather more corpses. They could hold off with the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty for now.
As he rubbed Xiao An’s head, he thought about how a child like her was involved in killing and fighting every single day after she followed him. Now that she had finally recovered her body, it was time for her to enjoy the happinesses of ordinary children. Seeking greater power to protect her was his responsibility.
Xiao An raised her head to look at Li Qingshan. Li Qingshan smiled at her, and Xiao An’s lips twitched as well, smiling rather unnaturally in response.
Li Qingshan pinched her cheek and smiled. “You need quite a lot more practise. As a person, you’ll be better off if you smile more.”
Xiao An lowered her head in embarrassment as her face blushed.
Although Li Qingshan had no idea what the Aspect of Heavenly Fragrance and Beauty was, he did find her to be extremely cute. He thought back to when Xiao An was still a spirit. Her face was completely pale. She did not seem to possess the same charm as right now.
Little did he know that a body reconstructed using the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty could be described as the most perfect body in the world. The White Bone Bodhisattva might not have been described as possessing heavenly fragrance and beauty. He only pursued the limits of forms and appearances in the world, and the core secrets hidden within could not just be passed off as ‘heavenly fragrance and beauty’.
Hua Chenglu yelled at the shore, “If you don’t board now, I’m leaving!” The orthodox masters quickly gave up on their search and returned to the ship.
The pitch-black night descended as rain drizzled. Masters stood to the sides.
“Please!” Hua Chenglu invited Li Qingshan into the cabin. They passed through a corridor lit by lanterns and arrived in an extremely fancy dining hall.
There was not a single lantern in the dining hall, but it was fully lit. Half-transparent crystals were embedded in the walls, producing gentle, white light. The atmosphere was pleasant, neither too dry nor too humid, neither too cold nor too hot. It fully exhibited the luxury that Qi Practitioner clans could enjoy.
Hua Chenglu and Li Qingshan sat in the seats of honours as the orthodox masters sat to the two sides. They chatted happily as they were in extremely good moods. While they had failed to find any pills, knowing that their greatest enemies had been blown to a pulp was a very delightful matter.
Great hero Yu even bellowed out, “Bring the alcohol! We killed those bastards, so we need to properly celebrate!”
Everyone responded loudly. There were also envious people among them, who thought about how his appearance was vicious and looked even more villainous than a villain, yet he somehow had such a charming daughter who managed to befriend someone from the Hua family. They sneered inside over how his wife must have been unfaithful, or there was no other explanation.
Hua Chenglu glanced at him before ordering people to prepare some tea and snacks for guests in an extremely old-fashioned manner.
Great hero Yu shut up in a hurry and smiled apologetically. “Let’s drink tea. Tea is no different.”
If a grown man behaved like Hua Chenglu, Li Qingshan might have found it perfectly normal, but she was only thirteen or fourteen. She still had a hint of childishness to her, making her look like a child trying to act like an adult. It was rather funny.
And, there was no need for any orders at all. She just had to wave her banner, and a few mechanical puppets would emerge from beneath the cabin, clinking and clanking, delivering her tea and snacks. It made her actions seem even more childish instead.
This was the first time Li Qingshan had seen puppets like this, so he became extremely curious. He was amazed by the wonders of this world once again. These puppets seemed to be made out of wood. A face was carved on their heads, and their joints were clearly defined on their arms and feet. They were extremely nimble as well, without any stiffness in their actions. It was possible to imagine them moving as swiftly as the wind when the need arose.
Xiao An’s gaze became even more fixed than him. Only when the puppets walked away did she withdraw her gaze reluctantly.
Li Qingshan thought of something and took note of that.
Hua Chenglu sipped some tea and asked sternly, “Just how did you offend that old hag?”
As a result, Li Qingshan told her the entire story regarding the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, but he hid the fact that Zhuo Zhibo was trying to screw him over. Hua Chengzan would definitely be much more familiar with Zhuo Zhibo than himself. Lodging a complaint over the heads of his superiors would never end up well, let alone through a young girl like Hua Chenglu.
When Hua Chenglu heard about how the Parlour of Clouds and Rain had been forcing people into prostitution, she became bright red from fury. However, when she heard how Li Qingshan had killed the procuress and executed a search warrant against them, she praised, “You’ve done well. The Hawkwolf Guard needs good men who defy brutal suppression like you. I really haven’t saved the wrong person.”
Li Qingshan grinned, but he forced back his smile and said sternly too, “That’s my responsibility!”
Hua Chenglu asked out of curiosity, “What other missions have you undertaken before?”
“I’ve only just joined the Hawkwolf Guard recently, so I haven’t undertaken many missions.” Then Li Qingshan told her about his mission in Ancient Wind city and his plan with the Island of Cherishing Flowers this time.
Hua Chenglu was utterly engrossed by it all. She would chime in from time to time. She led an extravagant life, yet for some reason, she had such a great thirst for blood. When she heard about the destruction of an entire clan, she became overwhelmed by excitement, forcing Li Qingshan to go into much detail.
In the end, she said in quite some pity, “It’s just a pity that my big brother won’t let me join the Hawkwolf Guard so soon. Otherwise, I’ll be able to carry out missions together with you, Qingshan.”
Li Qingshan thought, With the Hua family’s strength, you can literally eat pills whenever you want, so why would you have to busy yourself with these missions? If I were you, I would eat my way to Daemon General before leaving the clan.
However, he said, “That is because commander Hua cares for you. Only when you’re powerful can you carry out missions. I believe there’ll be a day when you become a Hawkwolf guard who even surpasses me.”
Hua Chenglu said, “Exactly. That’s basically what my big brother said to me.”
Li Qingshan thought, So your elder brother coaxes you like this too!
If the entire scene was presented as a new report, it would have been, “The leader of our country, Hua Chenglu, received Li Qingshan in a cordial manner and engaged in a deep conversation, affirming and supporting Li Qingshan’s job. Our leader has also encouraged him to continue with his hard work so that he can strive for the better.”
The orthodox martial arts practitioners watched all of this unfold as bystanders. They felt rather mixed inside. After all, aside from Xiao An, the two of them were the youngest out of everyone present. Most of them were first-rate masters and were only a step away from the first layer of Qi Practitioner, but it was this exact obstacle before the innate realm that separated their statuses.
Yet, they just had to admit that no matter how many times they heard of Li Qingshan’s actions, they felt astounded. Then they thought of the unorthodox masters who prided themselves in making it onto the blacklist and called them idiots inside. Afterwards, they made up their minds to never make it onto the blacklist no matter what. Otherwise, who knows when they would be cut down in one fell swoop from attending a gathering.
After what happened on the Island of Cherishing Flowers, the orthodox martial arts society within several hundred kilometers of Jiaping city experienced great prosperity. The ethos of the jianghu became extremely positive as well. Young and great heroes emerged one after another, every single one of them following the law, respecting the old, and cherishing the young. Even if they became involved in some dirty deeds, they would do it secretly and with great care. They would never do it openly. Li Qingshan had truly done well.
In just a short while, the ship arrived on the shore and everyone disembarked. Hua Chenglu extended her hand and waved it. The huge ship rapidly shrank before landing in her hand. Then she stowed it away in her hundred treasures pouch. She lamented, “The lake is too small. We can’t go speeding around.”
Li Qingshan and Xiao An’s eyes lit up once more with this sight.
Before they could set off, the orthodox masters had already prepared a celebration banquet in the Lake Viewing restaurant of Lakeside city.
Li Qingshan sighed gently. I have to continue this act. She helped me so much this time, so I need to make her happy at the very least.
And, while he could not see, hear, or smell her, Li Qingshan could clearly sense that the West Gate Granny was still close. The ambiguous sense of hostility and killing intent enveloped him constantly. He was afraid that the West Gate Granny would immediately come for his life as soon as he left Hua Chenglu’s side.
Putting on an act for a young girl was always better than risking his life against an old woman. Although he had become determined to kill the West Gate Granny, now was not the time. The West Gate Granny’s age was already so advanced, so it was no longer possible for her to make anymore progress with her cultivation. Meanwhile, he was constantly becoming stronger. As long as he had some time, he would be able to kill her without injuring himself at all. What was the point in risking it all right now?