Chapter 168 – Disciples of Mohism
Everyone turned around in surprise. When they saw who it was, they all bowed in a hurry. “Commander Lao, you’ve emerged from seclusion!” “Y- you’ve broken through to the sixth layer!”
This person happened to be the Black Wolf commander of the Hawkwolf Guard of Jiaping city, Lao Xishan. He seemed to be around forty years old and had a rectangular face. Seeing everyone’s shock, he smiled slightly through his seriousness. All of his hard work for cultivation, the days he spent in seclusion, was all for the sake of today. He asked sternly, “Who did you say would be done for?”
No one dared to answer him. Lao Xishan actually did not need anyone to answer him either. As the vice commander, he had his own trusted subordinates in the Hawkwolf Guard, so he knew about the entire matter already.
“I’ll go assist commander Zhuo.” He shot off in Zhuo Zhibo’s direction. He glided down the mountain like a great bird, disappearing into the thin mist of the morning very soon.
The remaining Hawkwolf guards all looked at one another. Li Qingshan had managed to make such a great disturbance despite only having just joined the Hawkwolf Guard three months ago. Commander Zhuo and commander Lao had always opposed one another, so now that he had broken through to the sixth layer as well, Jiaping city would probably become noisy.
Li Qingshan lowered his shield and swung his blade. With a flash, a wind blade directly slashed towards the closest assailant.
The person did not seem to think that Li Qingshan would still be able to swing his blade under such circumstances, nor did they expect him to be capable of swinging it so swiftly. He summoned a puppet soldier before him to block the attack.
With a bang, the puppet soldier was sliced open and components scattered all over the ground.
Everyone was surprised. They called out, “He can still move! Everyone be careful!”
Li Qingshan managed to make out the assailants’ appearances. They were all young men in their twenties and dressed in similar, deep blue robes. They all wielded strange, shining crossbows. The storm of tiny bolts came from the five crossbows. They were far more powerful than the legendary repeating crossbows.
Li Qingshan took a step forward. Under the tremendous weight, the ground felt like mud. Consequently, his feet sank into the ground deeply, all the way up to his thighs. The glowing inscriptions were originally written on the ground, but they floated in the air after activation, so they were not destroyed with the ground.
“Let me!” With a bellow, a burly man with a full beard slammed through a wall loudly, appearing in the morgue. He held an extremely thick, bronze cannon in his arms. The cannon was covered in inscriptions as it shone with light. It was actually a mid grade spiritual artifact. The mouth of the cannon that was sculpted like a vicious dragon’s head began to gather specks of light.
This was the first time Li Qingshan had felt so much danger. Even when he was on the Island of Cherishing Flower and under the barrage of the cannonfire, he did not feel so much danger. Most importantly, the presence that the cannon-wielding man gave off was at the sixth layer of Qi Practitioner.
“Who are you? Why are you ambushing me?” Li Qingshan originally thought this was the Zombie Daoist, who had set up a trap against him after receiving news from Zhuo Zhibo. However, no matter how he looked at him, he did not look like the Zombie Daoist. Moreover, the techniques he used were completely unrelated to what the Zombie Daoist was capable of, so he held back his urge to fight to ask those questions. If these people still would not stop, then he could only daemonify and massacre them all.
“Hmm? Why is the Zombie Daoist so young?” These young men in navy blue also saw Li Qingshan’s appearance, and one of them asked in confusion.
“Stop, senior brother! That’s the uniform of the Hawkwolf Guard!” Another person recognised Li Qingshan’s Black Wolf uniform and called out to stop him in a hurry.
The light had finished gathering now. An utterly blinding stream of scorching white light blasted out from the cannon, piercing the ceiling and leaving behind a streak of light in the night sky.
Xiao An loosened his grip on the Skull Prayer Bead in his hand, and the red light in Li Qingshan’s eyes faded away as well. He looked at the great hole above in amazement. Even if he had daemonified, he would still suffer from such a cannon blast.
He lowered his head again and asked them, “Who are you?” Afterwards, he stowed his Wind-entwining blade back into its scabbard.
His actions reduced the hostility of the young men. They also placed down their crossbows. The young man who had recognised Li Qingshan’s uniform said, “We’re disciples of mohism. We’re here to carry out a mission. You must be a Hawkwolf guard.”
“I am. I’m also carrying out a mission.”
“Please let us see your tablet!”
Disciples of mohism! Li Qingshan understood now. He tossed his Black Wolf tablet to the people, and they glanced at it before easing up. They said loudly, “Alright, alright. It’s all fine. Undo the formation. This was all a misunderstanding!”
“Sigh, what the hell!” “Didn’t you say the Zombie Daoist would come? Why did a Hawkwolf guard come instead?” The mohist disciples grumbled. One of them stowed away a scroll. The scroll was covered with inscriptions that were exactly the same as the ones on the ground, without any differences at all.
Li Qingshan immediately felt his body lighten. He picked up the shield on the ground, but he discovered that the shield was all charred from the explosions prior. Just a few days ago, it had blocked Zhuo Zhibo’s fire dragon, and now that it was struck by a barrage of explosions, a lot of its spiritual qi had dispersed.
Suddenly, there was a swift gale, and the burly man with the full beard stowed away his bronze cannon and charged over. Xiao An raised her hidden blade, but she stopped after a glance from Li Qingshan. The burly man was hostile, but he did not have any killing intent.
The man grabbed Li Qingshan by the collar and roared, “Kid, you’ve messed up my plans!” He wore the same navy blue robes as the other mohist disciples, but he was bare-chested. His right sleeve was tied around his waist, revealing his robust arms and chest. He seemed extremely tough.
Li Qingshan released his true qi to block the incoming attack of spittle. He looked at the man calmly, but before he could say anything, the other mohist disciples had already arrived. They pulled back the man and said in persuasion, “Please calm down, senior brother!”
The man stamped his foot and bellowed, “This formation scroll for the Painted Prison can only be used three times, and that’s it! My Yellow Dragon’s Cannon of Devouring Light costs a spiritual stone for each blast! All of that comes from me, so of course you lot wouldn’t mind!”
“Our Fire Crow bolts don’t grow on trees either.”
Li Qingshan tidied up his clothes and said, “I think you should all think over what you just did, launching an attack at whoever comes through that door. If I wasn’t strong enough, I would have been killed already.”
The burly man glared at Li Qingshan angrily. He was basically on the brink of pulling out his Yellow Dragon’s Cannon of Devouring Light again, but his junior brothers managed to stop him, “It’s all a misunderstanding!” However, they thought inside, To think that he would be bold enough to say something like that to a sixth layer Qi Practitioner. They all say the Hawkwolf Guard is haughty. Looks like it’s true.
“It’s all a misunderstanding. If we’ve offended you in any way, please forgive us. I’m Zhang Lanqing. This is my senior brother, Hao Pingyang, and these are our three junior brothers, He Yishi, Jin Yuan, and Jin Bao,” Zhang Lanqing introduced them one by one. Although he was only in his twenties, he had a darker complexion, and his voice was sluggish and level. He seemed to be extremely mature and level-headed. Amongst the group, he was second to the burly man, Hao Pingyang, in terms of strength. He was at the fifth layer of Qi Practitioner.
As for the three others, He Yishi was at the fourth layer. He was quite tall with a long face and slightly swollen eyelids. He answered his senior brother with a casual ‘yep’ before looking at Li Qingshan and answering him with a reluctant ‘yep’. Afterwards, he lowered his head to fix the puppet that Li Qingshan had destroyed.
Jin Yuan and Jin Bao were brothers. The elder brother, Jin Yuan, was at the fourth layer, while Jin Bao was at the third layer. They saw how Li Qingshan was only at the second layer, and he had also destroyed their trap, so they were reluctant to pay any attention to him.
Jin Bao said to Hao Pingyang, “Senior brother, is your Painted Prison potentially fake? It can’t even trap a second layer Qi Practitioner. If the Zombie Daoist really did come, wouldn’t he break out of it in an instant?”
“Fuck off, cunt. I spent a huge price to buy this. It’s the kid that’s strange.” Hao Pingyang calmed down and studied Li Qingshan in confusion. He had fallen into the Painted Prison and received attacks from the Thousand Mechanism crossbows under an encirclement of five Qi Practitioners even more powerful than him, yet he had actually managed to emerge unscathed. This was clearly abnormal.
The formation scroll of the Painted Prison had been prepared for sixth layer Qi Practitioners like the Zombie Daoist. If ordinary people fell into it, they would be crushed to a point where their organs ruptured. Qi Practitioners would become completely immobilised as well.
More strangely, the pretty child by his side clearly did not give off any signs of practising qi, but she was actually able to stand in the formation safely as well. If it were not for the fact that he had tried the formation once in the past, he really would have suspected it to be fake.
Li Qingshan’s sense of pride that had developed from his landslide victory on the Island of Cherishing Flowers was crushed as well. There were still many powerful abilities and methods in the world that he had yet to learn about. The trap that these mohist disciples cast down was simple, but it was extremely dangerous.
They used joss paper to hide the inscriptions on the ground, and then they would use it to immobilise their opponent before launching a barrage of arrows, killing the enemy on the spot. If that was not enough, they could use the cannon to kill them off. It was all linked together and every part was lethal. If regular sixth layer Qi Practitioners faced this, they would probably end up dead. They would not even have the opportunity to fight back.
“Were you trying to ambush the Zombie Daoist here?”
Zhang Lanqing said, “Yeah. Were you thinking of the same thing?” Hao Pingyang glared at him. “Just by him? He wants to finish off the Zombie Daoist just by him?” He pointed at Li Qingshan’s nose. “Kid, this no longer has anything to do with you anymore, so I would advise you to scram!”
Li Qingshan pointed backwards with his thumb. “I’ve only come to investigate. The Zombie Daoist has nothing to do with me. However, isn’t he right outside?” Although he hid his aura extremely well, his faint stink of corpses was unable to escape Li Qingshan’s nose.
“What!” The five of them looked outside the door. Hao Pingyang gathered his concentration to sense the surroundings. As soon as he discovered an extremely hidden aura spying on them, he bellowed out, “Get out here!”
Click! Click! The five of them immediately removed their empty bolt magazines and reloaded their crossbows with new ones. A long box clipped onto the Thousand Mechanism crossbows. Every single magazine contained thirty-six extremely small Fire Crow bolts, which could be fired instantaneously. If they did not possess a spiritual artifact shield that specialised in defence like Li Qingshan, even powerful Qi Practitioners could be caught unprepared, losing their lives under the barrage of bolts.
“Jejejeje!” A high-pitched laughter rang out from outside. A daoist priest in yellow daoist robes with a pale-white mask appeared at the entrance and said, “You’ve actually set up a trap against this granddaddy daoist of yours. You kiddos sure are bold.” He studied Li Qingshan. “You must be Li Qingshan. You really are good material for corpse refinement. Zhuo Zhibo, that old kiddo, hasn’t lied to me this time.”