Chapter 165 – Clashing with Zhuo Zhibo
But how was he supposed to go about it?
Li Qingshan considered this question carefully. Climbing up the mountain and launching a sneak attack on Zhuo Zhibo was not a bad choice, but he needed to revert to his daemon form for sufficient strength.
However, his figure that approached thirty feet was even slightly taller than the two-storeyed buildings on the mountain. Probably even people below the mountain would be able to see him. It was far too easy for him to be exposed. Moreover, if he failed to kill Zhuo Zhibo in a single strike, allowing Zhuo Zhibo to call out, everyone would know his identity. He had to find a way to lure Zhuo Zhibo out of Jiaping city, and only then could he strike. However, how was he supposed to lure him out?
“Xiao An, do you have any ideas?”
Xiao An wrote in the air as fire flowed from the tip of her finger. She produced a single word. “Wait.”
Li Qingshan came to a realisation. She was right. Zhuo Zhibo wanted him dead very much right now, but he probably would not do it in Jiaping city. He would probably find a way to draw him out of the city, and that would be the most optimal time for him to strike.
Li Qingshan rubbed Xiao An’s head. “You really are clever.” However, he refused to just wait like this. He had to do something while he waited. “Though, let’s still go back and properly trigger him so that this bastard can make up his mind sooner!” He smiled evilly. If I don’t show you what’s what, do you really think that I’m that easy to walk all over?
“Commander Zhuo, I’m back!” A thunderous bellow pierced through the silence on the pitch-black mountain.
All of the Hawkwolf guards were alarmed. They roused from their cultivation or sleep and rushed out.
Li Qingshan stood in front of the Zhuo Zhibo’s office and yelled loudly, “I’ve already completed twenty-one missions, but it goes without saying that the contribution will be halved, right? And after that, I won’t be able to exchange them for anything, so I might as well just give them all to you. I don’t mind.”
“Oh right. When I went out this time, I just happened to run into vice commander Hua’s younger sister. I have a big mouth, so I couldn’t help but mention everything you did in Jiaping city to her. Vice commander Hua definitely wouldn’t take it to heart, so please don’t mind me.”
“Why don’t you shut up!?” A figure rushed out of the office in a flash and suddenly appeared in front of Li Qingshan. It was Zhuo Zhibo. He lashed out in a fury. His right sleeve was filled with true qi as it swung towards Li Qingshan like a metal hammer.
“What are you doing, commander Zhuo? Are you trying to kill your subordinate?” As Li Qingshan said that, he lifted his shield to block. He was only fearful of Zhuo Zhibo’s flying sword, so there was no reason for him to care about heavy attacks like this.
Thud! The heavy sleeve slammed into his shield and produced an extremely deep sound. A sound wave expanded into the surroundings and made the nearby tree leaves rustle.
Li Qingshan experienced a tremendous force and took four steps back in a stagger. With each step, he would leave behind a deep pit in the tough, marble ground. The impressiveness of sixth layer Qi Practitioners amazed him, but he was completely unscathed. When he checked the shield, it was no different from him as well. It was only a low grade spiritual artifact, but it was one that purely focused on defence, so it was impossible to destroy it so easily.
Of course, the force of that attack would have been enough to shatter a second layer Qi Practitioner’s body, making them vomit blood and die on the spot. However, Li Qingshan’s body was nowhere near as fragile as that.
Zhuo Zhibo became even more furious. He formed a seal with his hands, and a flash of light appeared in his eyes. True qi began to burn vigorously like hydrogen, illuminating the entire square in front of the office.
Li Qingshan could feel a wave of heat from afar, so he leapt backwards in retreat. He saw a fire dragon wrap around Zhuo Zhibo, illuminating the latter completely. Zhuo Zhibo’s clothes ruffled with a layer of scarlet light. He seemed like a god of fire. The marble below his feet showed signs of melting, which only demonstrated the terror of the heat that he emitted.
Sixth layer Qi Practitioners were not just powerful because of their artifact control, but also because of their techniques.
“Go!” Extending his finger like a sword, he pointed at Li Qingshan. The fire dragon rushed towards Li Qingshan with a roar. It was as fast as lightning. Regular people only saw a flash of light. They failed to make out the fire dragon.
“Hah!” Li Qingshan bellowed out and pushed his shield forward. The shield had already expanded to its limit as it collided with the fire dragon’s head. At the same time, he had already shrunken closely behind the shield.
Boom! Firelight erupted in the surroundings and the fire dragon directly turned into a sea of fire.
This time, Li Qingshan allowed himself to be knocked away. Only when he collided against a large tree several dozen meters behind him did he come to a halt. Leaves flittered down from the branches as he praised loudly, “Impressive moves, commander Zhuo!” Apart from his arm that ached slightly, he was unscathed.
This exchange demonstrated the importance of choosing a suitable spiritual artifact. After some verbal sneers, he needed a shield to soak up the damage.
However, he seemed to have gone a little too far with his provocation this time. From how determined Zhuo Zhibo was to finish him off once and for all, he did not seem to care about the circumstances anymore. It was far too irrational of him.
Zhuo Zhibo had commanded the Hawkwolf Guard of Jiaping city for all these years, but no one had ever provoked him in such an open manner. After Qian Rongzhi played him and Li Qingshan humiliated him like that, his fury had overcome any of his remaining rationality.
Zhuo Zhibo saw how his fire dragon had failed to kill Li Qingshan, so with a wave of his hand, a small blade seven inches in length began to circle around in his palm. It brushed against the air and thrummed as if it were bloodthirsty and eager to kill.
All of Li Qingshan’s hairs pricked up. He felt an intense sensation of danger. The flying blade was over a dozen meters away from him, but he felt like someone was holding it against his neck already, prepared to behead him at any time.
The shield shrunk, and he stowed it away in his hundred treasures pouch. At a time like this, a shield that could only block a single direction was useless. He gathered all of his attention on the flying blade in Zhuo Zhibo’s palm.
If Zhuo Zhibo really did use the flying blade, Li Qingshan would only have a single option—fleeing.
He had already looked into the path of controlling artifacts. The range a sixth layer Qi Practitioner could reach was around thirty steps; this was not a particularly large range. It was not like the legends, where a sword immortal could behead someone from thousands of kilometers away.
However, if it were combined with the terrifying speed of a sixth layer Qi Practitioner, it would be a true killing machine. If Li Qingshan was capable of something like that, killing everyone that deserved death on the Island of Cherishing Flowers would not have required so much trouble.
However, it was not like Li Qingshan had not considered this. He had already prepared a Swift Breeze talisman. If it came to fleeing, then he would flee. He held great confidence in his own two feet.
Now, he had already retreated to a hundred steps away, just in case Zhuo Zhibo lost his mind and no longer cared about anything anymore. Even if Zhuo Zhibo tried to hunt him down, it did not matter as long as he was not killed. However, if that really did happen, he planned on reporting Zhuo Zhibo to Zhou Wenbin and escalating the entire matter.
The news that Zhuo Zhibo had deducted contribution from his subordinate and that he was trying to hunt down a meritorious officer would spread like wildfire. It was not like Li Qingshan would be the target of humiliation for the matter. This was called having nothing to lose. By then, probably the people in Clear River city would become displeased with Zhuo Zhibo, and he would be labeled as incompetent.
Ge Jian called out in a hurry, “Commander Zhuo, please calm down!” Though, he had not thought as deeply as Li Qingshan. He was just afraid that Zhuo Zhibo would kill Li Qingshan in the Hawkwolf Guard out of pure anger. That would lead to great trouble.
The Hawkwolf guards all gathered over, and Zhuo Zhibo forced himself to calm down. He stowed his flying blade away and glared at Li Qingshan viciously. “Li Qingshan, that’s impressive of you!”
Although he had remained in Jiaping city for many years now, it was impossible for him to make everyone acknowledge him and act like they saw nothing at all. If he killed someone here, any person, not just a Hawkwolf guard under his command, he would receive punishment if he lacked an appropriate reason.
As the representatives of legalism, the protectors of the law, the Hawkwolf Guard could do whatever they wanted in the dark, but on the surface, they had to protect the laws of Great Xia. Once they crossed the line, nothing good would await them.
Sixth layer Qi Practitioners were like gods within Jiaping city, but in the eyes of the people above, they were nothing. Not a single person would care if one died.
Seeing how Zhuo Zhibo behaved as he had expected, afraid to kill him here, Li Qingshan relaxed as well. He brushed off the leaves on his shoulder. “Thank you for your praise, commander Zhuo. I’m very impressive! I drank a little too much earlier, so I ran my mouth a little. I hope you can forget and forgive, commander!”
Zhuo Zhibo turned around furiously. He felt extremely unhappy. Never had he found the identity of Black Hawk commander to be so restricting like today.
They targeted each other right now. If they were two regular Qi Practitioners, they would have faced off against one another already, unleashing everything that they had at hand in a great battle. However, it was exactly because of their identities that they were both forced to consider the consequences. Both of them needed an appropriate place to settle this matter.
Li Qingshan returned to his dwelling and smiled brilliantly at Xiao An. “Now, we wait.” Afterwards, he took out the bottle of Hundred Grasses pills. Originally, he wanted to save it for when he would break through, but in order to maintain his cultivation speed, he could no longer care too much now. He believed that there would be even better and even more pills in Zhuo Zhibo’s hundred treasures pouch. There was no need for him to conserve his pills.
The next day, Li Qingshan went to the government office to find Zhou Wenbin. He wanted to exchange for some pills. Zhou Wenbin had already heard about his crazy actions last night, but he said, “This works as well. You’ve made your disagreements public, so now, he’s actually afraid of casually moving against you.”
Li Qingshan exclaimed, “Why would he be afraid of moving against me?” The reason why he did this was to hurry Zhuo Zhibo along. The sooner he came for him, the better. Then he could turn the tables and kill him off instead.
Zhou Wenbin said, “You’ve just fallen out with him, so if you die soon afterwards, basically everyone will know that he’s responsible. He must be gritting his teeth right now, holding in his urge to kill you so that he can deal with you at an appropriate time.”
Li Qingshan groaned inside. He hoped that this would not take too long. As he groaned here, he had no idea that Zhuo Zhibo was grinding his teeth so hard that his gums bled. On the mountain, the Black Hawk commander roared out, “I’ll definitely kill him with my own hands! I’ll definitely kill him with my own hands!”
Who knows when the two of them could escape from the gazes of the public and properly battle it out to their hearts’ content.
With a flip of his hand, Li Qingshan took out all of his spiritual stones from his hundred treasures pouch. “I want to exchange for some more pills.” Even without Zhuo Zhibo, he still had to continue with his usual business. He had polished off the remaining bottle of Hundred Grasses pills last night, so he no longer had a single pill that could be used for cultivation on him.
Zhou Wenbin asked, “Do you really want to exchange them? Spiritual stones are far more valuable than Qi Gathering pills.”
Li Qingshan obviously knew that. He had almost gathered a thousand Qi Gathering pills by now, but he had not even obtained ten spiritual stones so far, and they were all spiritual stones of the worst, most inferior grades.