Chapter 186 – Breakthrough
A droplet of water fell from the stalactite on the cave ceiling in the darkness, dripping towards Li Qingshan’s head.
Li Qingshan sat with his legs crossed on the stone platform without moving at all, but a tremendous change unfolded within his body.
Extremely pure true qi constantly flowed through his Yang Heel meridian before delving into his bones strand by strand, rinsing his entire body.
A month had passed. He had already eaten almost three thousand Qi Gathering pills. He averaged a hundred a day.
This was a terrifying number. It was enough to any cultivator. His true qi had increased tremendously once again, but what broke through first was his Innate Method of Practising Qi.
The falling droplet of water was smashed apart by the shaking true qi three inches above Li Qingshan’s head. The waves of true qi were on the edge of breaking through now.
The true qi that had been purified through the sumeru ring was extremely effective now. It basically allowed Li Qingshan to break through to the sixth layer of the Innate Method of Practicing Qi without any obstruction at all, reaching the peak of the second layer.
Li Qingshan smiled. He felt both relieved and amazed. He was relieved over the fact that he had spent much less time compared to regular Qi Practitioners.
For example, Qian Rongzhi had been cultivating since a young age, but it had taken her several years to reach the second layer. Their talent could be described as no different from one another, or in other words, just average. As for Diao Fei, he originated from a sect and had the guidance of seniors. He was in his thirties, yet he was only at the third layer.
Li Qingshan’s cultivation speed truly was fast, but it did not happen without the support of a tremendous number of pills. And, if it were not for the sumeru ring, it would have been pointless no matter how many pills he possessed, as refining the impurities in the pills would take him ten times longer than right now.
He felt completely refreshed. He could not help but think about how Xiao An was doing.
Li Qingshan held back his desire to emerge from seclusion. He was extremely close to the second layer of the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength. He was basically only a step away. He could not afford to give up now. He needed to use this momentum to continue forwards and reach the second layer of the Ox Demon’s Fist of Great Strength, as well as open his Yin Heel meridian and reach the third layer of Qi Practitioner. Sixteen year old third layer Qi Practitioners could be regarded as geniuses.
The daemon core flashed, and daemon qi rose up from his body like fire. He daemonified. After the month of cultivation, his height had finally exceeded thirty feet.
While this underground cavern was quite large, Li Qingshan’s horns were close to touching the stalactites on the ceiling. If nothing went wrong, there would be a day when he would turn into a colossal monster like godzilla. No, he would be even more terrifying than godzilla. With a stomp of his feet, an entire city would collapse from the resulting earthquake, and with a roar, everyone’s heads would explode.
Wei Yingjie no longer remembered his past self anymore in the underground palace. His handsome appearance had completely fallen apart. His skin was withered and gloomy like an old man’s, while his eyes had lost all of their lustre. Drool constantly leaked out from his mouth.
Ten days ago, he had been reduced to an imbecile from the medicinal effects after consuming too many Pills of Passion.
Before Qian Rongzhi’s Vitality Devouring technique, his true qi had been sucked dry. Even his vitality was not spared. Finally, the last sliver of his life gave way. As a person who treated toying around with women as his hobby, he had lost his life from being toyed around by a woman in the end. He really was quite pitiful.
On top of him, Qian Rongzhi’s snowy body was streaked with sweat. Her skin was utterly glowing, while her appearance had become even more charming. She was like a green, tender vine wounded around a withered tree, blooming with charming flowers.
She ravished with joy on her face that had been unperturbed the entire time due to the Pills of Calming. With the support of his father, Wei Yingjie’s true qi was extremely abundant. It was ten times more than what Qian Rongzhi possessed at the very least.
Qian Rongzhi accepted all of it from him without holding back. Her true qi broke through to the fourth layer, and her body was filled to the brink too. The fifth layer was only a matter of time for her now.
While the Vitality Devouring technique was terrifying, it was unable to digest the true qi of a sixth layer Qi Practitioner completely. Most of it was lost, or she would have been able to reach the sixth layer directly. Qian Rongzhi was already quite satisfied with what she had achieved so far.
Of course, this did not come without disadvantages. Her true qi was extremely impure, so she required even more Pills of Spring Breeze and Rain. However, she was not worried about this. As long as her cultivation had increased, there would obviously be more ways for her to obtain even better pills.
She had never planned on using ordinary people to practise the Minor and Major Methods of Clouds and Rain. It would be far too impure and far too slow. Due to the differences in the element of true qi, it would be difficult to digest. It could even lead to issues like conflicting true qi. This was why she never bothered with hunting down regular Qi Practitioners. The people from the same sect who also practised the Method of Clouds and Rain were the best prey for her.
A fire talisman burned the corpse to ashes. She thought, It’s time for me to report back to the Sect of Clouds and Rain. Young master Wei lost his patience and ventured into the Zombie cave in search of Li Qingshan!
She took out another pill and ingested it, suppressing her cultivation back to the third layer. Afterwards, she washed up and changed her clothes, emerging from the underground palace. She looked up at the clear, autumn sky and revealed a smile that was even more resplendent than the sun. “My fate lies in my own hands!”
In a room with fine views, Wang Pushi dumped a thick pile of documents onto Hua Chengzan’s long, sandalwood desk. “What do you think?”
Hua Chengzan sat back in his armed chair with his legs crossed on his desk. He extended his hand, and the documents flew over with a flutter, lining themselves up in the air.
Hua Chengzan looked through them as his eyes darted about rapidly. He glanced past each document, taking note of each sentence.
I saw them pass by… We emerged with Qingshan, but I don’t know where he went… He had personally said that he had grievances with Zhuo Zhibo… Our sect master said we had to bring back the child…
It seemed like countless voices whispering into his ears with different tones. A while later, the stack of documents flew back onto the desk in a neat pile.
Hua Chengzan opened his eyes. “If that He Yishi is telling the truth, then…”
Wang Pushi asked, “Then what?”
Hua Chengzan smiled. “Li Qingshan led Zhuo Zhibo to his death through deception before killing Lao Xishan as well.” After his clever mind sorted through the information, the falsehoods were weeded out, the blanks had been filled in, and what remained would never be too far from the truth.
Wang Pushi frowned. “That’s impossible. He’s just a second layer Qi Practitioner. How did he manage to kill Zhuo Zhibo and so many Black Wolf guards?”
Hua Chengzan said, “He’s a second layer Qi Practitioner who has killed someone at the fifth layer. Moreover, he might not have personally done all of this. He might have lured Zhuo Zhibo into the nest of a daemon. You know that it’s not safe underground. Even we’re afraid to venture too deeply into many places.”
Wang Pushi nodded. Below the earth was a forbidden zone for humans.
Hua Chengzan continued, “It’s also possible that he set up a trap with several hundred Explosion talismans. Or, if he used a Lightning Fire bomb from the school of Mohism, all he would need to do is create a small earthquake in a chosen location, and it would not be too difficult to kill a group of Qi Practitioners. Anyways, there are plenty of ways to kill them. If they weren’t killed by Li Qingshan, am I supposed to believe that Zhuo Zhibo lost his way underground?”
“Li Qingshan led them away, yet only he returned in one piece. Old Wang, if it weren’t for the sake of his cultivation, isn’t it very obvious? Only victors can return alive. Losers will obviously end up dead somewhere.”
“I think Zhuo Zhibo is probably done for as well!” Wang Pushi gradually became convinced. He had undergone a heavenly tribulation and reached Foundation Establishment, truly setting foot on the path of cultivation and becoming an influential Scarlet Hawk commander, but he still held great admiration towards Hua Chengzan’s intellect. He had to admit the existence of geniuses in the world. If it were not for that person, Hua Chengzan would have broken through to Foundation Establishment a long time ago, or even surpassed him already.
Hua Chengzan said, “Afterwards, the two groups separated, with just Li Qingshan and Lao Xishan left together. No one knows what happened to them. According to He Yishi, Li Qingshan gained an Iron Plate corpse. With Lao Xishan’s ability of having just broken through to the sixth layer, it’s possible that he was killed by the Iron Plate corpse. Perhaps the kid is cultivating in seclusion right now with his spoils of the battles!”
Wang Pushi said furiously, “That kid sure is a vicious ingrate. I shouldn’t have let him join the Hawkwolf Guard in the past.”
Hua Chengzan winked at him mischievously. “Back then, you never imagined he would be able to kill Feng Zhang and actually be bold enough to report to Jiaping city.”
Wang Pushi shot him a vicious glance. “He got lucky.”
Hua Chengzan raised his head and looked at the ceiling. “Once or twice is luck. If he can defeat those stronger than him and escape death every single time, that’s not luck anymore. That’s strength.”
Wang Pushi said, “Though, his luck has run out.”
Hua Chengzan lowered his head again and said in surprise, “What do you plan on doing?”
Wang Pushi said, “Hmph, I’ll obviously bring him to justice. In just the few months after joining the Hawkwolf Guard, he killed two of his superior officers. I’ve never seen such a bold Black Wolf guard. He has no respect for laws or authority at all.”
Hua Chengzan said, “Look, that’s just my guess. It might not be true. And, there’s no evidence, so why would he admit to it?”
Wang Pushi said, “Are we just supposed to drop this matter like this then?”
Hua Chengzan said, “Zhuo Zhibo was asking for it. He went as far as to mobilise everyone, and he tried to kill his own subordinate. Isn’t Li Qingshan allowed to fight back? Zhuo Zhibo has spent far too much time in Jiaping city, and he has gotten too close to the Sect of Clouds and Rain as well. It’s time for us to change him as well.”
Wang Pushi said, “Then Lao Xishan deserved it as well when he was silenced with death?”
Hua Chengzan pouted. “He probably deserved it. If he wanted to silence people, the people he should have silenced the most would be the disciples of mohism, particularly the one called He Yishi. His testimony is basically trying to incriminate Li Qingshan as the murderer, yet Li Qingshan still saved them. If Li Qingshan were vicious, he would have left them to die in the hands of the Zombie Daoist. Since he has already cleaned up behind himself, and it doesn’t seem like he did it on purpose, why must we be the petty ones here?”
He had quite a good impression of Li Qingshan. Aside from the one time they met in the past, he had close ties to Hua Chenglu, but he ignored her advice. Moreover, Li Qingshan never tried to seek help from the Hua family even when he was in danger. He never even tried to rat out Zhuo Zhibo through Hua Chenglu.