Chapter 195 – Drinking under the Moon
He dove underground once more. Li Qingshan used the underground mental map and found a great cavern. He said to Xiao An, “It looks like we’ll have to tough it out for a while. You can’t compare this place to Salt Mountain city.”
“Alright,” Xiao An said obediently. Her voice was slurred. Apart from when she yelled out the first time, she was unable to say anything clearly. However, it was an extremely pleasant voice, similar to a spring breeze. It was a comforting voice.
Within a forest-like series of stalagmites, Li Qingshan checked the pills on him. He had already used up half of the Qi Gathering pills, so only around four thousand remained. However, he had only used up one of his Hundred Grasses pills, so over a thousand remained, while there were almost a hundred high grade pills left for cultivation. He was quite wealthy in terms of resources.
Li Qingshan stowed away a talisman. This talisman was known as a Communication talisman. It came in a pair, and as long as they were within five hundred kilometers of each other, the other would respond if one was activated.
Although it was unable to deliver any complicated messages, it was enough for signals. As for how Qian Rongzhi would lure out the West Gate Granny, Li Qingshan did not probe into that too much. It would require quite a lot of adapting for her to do that. She was extremely familiar with this line of work anyway.
He was not worried that she would betray him. She did not exactly have any moral thresholds to speak of, but she was motivated by her own interests, which were instead easier to grasp. If she betrayed him, just her actions of feeding information to the enemy would have been enough for the Sect of Clouds and Rain to hunt her down.
All he needed to do was wait quietly in a suitable location for a suitable time. All of this made him think of a fable from his former life—A tiger caught a fox, and then the fox told the tiger that if it spared him, it would lure other animals over.
However, this was based on the premise that the tiger had the ability to eat all the animals the fox lured over.
He raised his head and poured Qi Gathering pills into his mouth. He began to cultivate.
Six days later, Li Qingshan began to miss his courtyard in Salt Mountain city. This was not just because he missed the tasteful alcohol and dishes, but because of Xiao An as well. In the empty cavern, there was nothing for her to do. When she was bored, she would just lean on her hands and watch him cultivate.
This made Li Qingshan feel very ashamed. He would often stop cultivating and play or talk with her for a while. If he were alone, it did not matter what he did. Even if he used the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression and went into seclusion for a whole year, it would not matter.
However, with her by his side, he wanted to do everything he could for her to lead a better life. Looking around, all he saw was the murky, smooth rocks. This was nowhere close to his ideal location. It would only be detrimental to the mental development of children.
Li Qingshan made up his mind. “Since we don’t have to be here, let’s go back and take a look. That millipede must have run out of patience and left already!”
The mountain manor was desolate, while the aura of autumn had deepened. Li Qingshan opened the front door and directly went to the back garden. He made his way through the well-spaced vegetation and glanced into the cave. He could not help but smile bitterly.
Milliped’s eyes were closed as he laid in the hole. He slept like he was dead, as if he had not even moved from his original position. Suddenly, he snapped open his slightly bulging eyes and stared straight at Li Qingshan. He asked quietly, “Where’s the food?” He had not realised that Li Qingshan had stood him up.
Li Qingshan grinned, “It’s coming!” Afterwards, he turned around and left with Xiao An. Perhaps he had been touched by his only interest in food, or perhaps he was just too easy to fool that it made Li Qingshan slightly uneasy.
In the Proud Sword manor, Yu Shukuang looked at Li Qingshan in surprise and joy. “Great hero Niu, you’ve finally returned.”
Li Qingshan nodded. “Yep, yep, I’m back. There’s something else that I must trouble you with.”
Yu Shukuang saw how cautious he was, so he said with much emotion, “Anything for you, great hero Niu, no matter how dangerous or life-threatening…”
Li Qingshan interrupted him. “It’s not that intense. Just prepare three things for me and deliver them to my manor.”
“Do you mean?” Yu Shukuang was unable to imagine just what was enough for Li Qingshan to verbally request for them. Even if he wanted them, he should not have come to him, right?
“Millet, rice, and alcohol.” Li Qingshan took out another million taels of silver and slammed it on the table.
“Just those?” Yu Shukuang was so surprised that his chin almost dropped off. He was asking him for regular grains and food in such a formal manner.
Li Qingshan said, “As well as other grains, vegetables, and fruits. Prepare whatever you have, the more the better. Of course, I’ll need those twenty tables of food as well. You need to undertake this as secretively as possible too. Don’t let too many people know.”
“Don’t worry at all, great hero Niu. I’ll send people to make preparations immediately. You’ll get as much as you could possibly want.” Yu Shukuang slammed his chest as he guaranteed. As one of the leading figures in the jianghu, he might not be able to obtain certain things, but gathering some grains and food was a cake-walk.
Li Qingshan said in a seemingly unintentional manner, “Oh right, I obtained a few Innate pills recently.” With that, he turned around and left.
The speaker had said that intentionally, while the audience obviously cared about what had been mentioned.
Yu Shukuang’s eyes gradually widened. As a member of the jianghu, he did not know much about the various pills that Qi Practitioners possessed, but there was one that he just had to know, which was the Innate pill. It was a sacred pill that all practitioners of martial arts could only dream about. With how much effort they devoted to martial arts, all of them wanted to rise up and step into a whole new world.
Yu Shukuang wanted to as well, and he wanted it much more than most other things. When Li Qingshan mentioned those two words nonchalantly, he became a donkey that was being led around by a carrot on a stick. Even if he knew that it would be impossible for him to get his hands on one, he wanted to give it his all and try. Not to mention that Li Qingshan was clearly implying that it was possible for him to give Yu Shukuang one with his tone.
Immediately, he gathered a few trusted subordinates and gave orders to them solemnly. If it were not for the fact that Li Qingshan wanted him to keep a low profile over the operation, he was basically tempted to carry out this matter in person so that he could demonstrate himself to Li Qingshan.
When a powerful, local organisation got to work, they would be surprisingly effective. In just an hour, everything that Li Qingshan wanted was delivered to him in an endless flow.
“Here!” Li Qingshan grabbed a bag of rice and tossed it into the hole.
Milliped extended his hand and ripped in open. The shiny grains of rice flowed out. His mouth expanded in an exaggerated manner, such that it made Li Qingshan think about those characters from the cartoons. In the blind of an eye, the entire bag of rice had been tipped into his mouth.
He smacked his lips. “Tasty!” Afterwards, he kept staring at Li Qingshan.
“If it’s tasty, then have some more. Once you’re full, stop bugging me.” Li Qingshan tossed another bag of rice down.
Milliped was absorbed by the rice. He paid no attention to Li Qingshan at all. Another bag of rice vanished into his mouth, but he had yet to seem satisfied.
As a result, Li Qingshan just tossed all of the bags of rice, several dozen of them, in there. However, the influence of the Innate pill managed to take Li Qingshan by surprise. Afterwards, rice and millet flour, along with various other grains, were all carted over one by one by the disciples of the Proud Sword manor, along with various fruits and vegetables. There were even a few that Li Qingshan failed to recognise.
Li Qingshan held a few bags of rice in his hands with a few on his shoulders. He seemed like the ultimate worker. He rushed back and forth from the entrance and the back garden, tossing bags of food into the hole.
Milliped, who had always seemed dazed, now smiled from ear to ear. As a foodie, seeing these various foods fall from the sky probably made him feel what a money grubber felt watching it rain money.
He was overwhelmed. He almost became lost as to what to eat first.
Li Qingshan shook off the sweat on his forehead and said to Xiao An, “Keep an eye out. I’m going to go cultivate a little. Remember to not venture into the cave. I’m worried he’ll end up eating you too.”
Xiao An obviously did not take something for frightening children to heart. She agreed with a smile and squatted by the hole, watching Milliped eat. She was very intrigued.
By dusk, Li Qingshan’s twenty tables of food had arrived as well. He sat by the hole and opened the boxes of food, also wolfing them down. He had to admit that watching Milliped eat made him develop an appetite too.
Li Qingshan ate by the hole, while Milliped ate in the hole. Xiao An could see Milliped if she looked down, and she could see Li Qingshan if she looked up. She found this to be fascinating.
He could use the energy of the world to replace food after he daemonified, going for very long periods without food. With how much spiritual qi of the world he could absorb as a daemon, he could basically attain what humans called inedia. He would be able to thrive even after stopping all intake of food. However, his appetite would remain, and it would only grow stronger as time went on.
The reason why humans chose to go without food was because regular food contained far too many impurities. It would build up in their bellies and affect their cultivation. However, the cultivation method and constitution of daemons were completely different from humans. To daemons, being able to fill themselves would never be bad. Their powerful bodies could easily digest any impurities.
The process of human cultivation was like a sculptor producing a delicate piece of art. They would choose the most suitable cultivation method and the most suitable pills after careful consideration. Subsequently, they would divide the cultivation process into many detailed steps before inching towards their objective slowly. They wanted to be in control of everything, constantly striving towards perfection, to become someone above all, an immortal.
The cultivation process of daemons, on the other hand, was like a painter casually flicking their brushes and producing landscapes from splashes of ink. It was coarse, liberal, and unconstrained. The painter might not even be themselves, but nature; it was just like using the elements of nature, the wind, frost, rain, and snow, to grind away a strange rock. They just happened to be a little more special than other rocks, known as daemons.
Milliped’s mouth suddenly stopped. He raised his head to look at Li Qingshan, and the snowy-white grains of rice leaked out from the corner of his lips. He sputtered, “Alcohol!”
Li Qingshan just happened to be drinking a jar of alcohol heartily. Sensing his gaze, he tossed the jar down. “For you!”
Milliped glugged it all down before asking for more.
Li Qingshan tossed down four or five of them together. He had drunk quite a lot, and in the spur of the moment, he forgot about his own warning to Xiao An. He leapt into the hole with his alcohol and food, bumping alcohol jars with Milliped before tilting his head back and drinking it all.
Milliped looked at him in a daze, at a loss as to what he was doing. Only when Li Qingshan drank half of his jar already did he suddenly seem to realise what was going on. He drank his alcohol in a hurry. He even looked at Li Qingshan as he drank it.
However, Li Qingshan still ended up finishing first. He laughed happily, but Milliped was unhappy with this result. He picked up a jar of alcohol and shoved it into Li Qingshan’s hands before lifting up his own. He bumped jars with Li Qingshan before opening his great mouth in a hurry and drinking it all.
Li Qingshan broke out in laughter. Despite how dazed he always seemed, Li Qingshan never thought that he would have some character about him. “Again!”