Chapter 200 – Yu Zijian
The voice that was like an oriole’s cry left Qian Rongzhi stunned for quite a while. She replied with a smile, “Hello!” However, she only looked at her from afar. She did not come any closer.
According to their agreement, Li Qingshan gave the pills and cultivation methods that were relevant to the Sect of Clouds and Rain to Qian Rongzhi. However, even with Qian Rongzhi’s mental fortitude, she struggled to maintain her composure.
There were nine bottles of first-rate Pills of Spring Breeze and Rain, as well as three bottles of Profound Yin pills that were specially prepared for those who practised Profound Yin true qi. The other pills, such as Pills of Passion and Pills of Calming, were not worth mentioning.
However, what attracted her attention were not those, but a book called the Method of Bewitchment. It was a technique that specialised in bewitching people, with the Method of Clouds and Rain serving as a foundation. Only people who had some status in the sect had the opportunity to practise it. Regular disciples could only learn regular charming techniques.
It was basically overkill if she obtained a method for bewitching people, with how skilled she was at controlling people already.
Li Qingshan suddenly said, “Give me two bottles of Pills of Spring Breeze and Rain.”
Qian Rongzhi gave them to him without any second thought. When Li Qingshan wanted to give her two bottles of Qi Amassing pills in exchange, she declined instead. She said enthusiastically, “I can lure other people over too…”
Li Qingshan interrupted her, “You better think of a way to distance yourself from this matter first!” The status of the two grannies in the Sect of Clouds and Rain was far greater than the likes of Zhao Liangqing. Their disappearance would lead to major movements from the sect.
And, he had to be extremely careful. When he faced two ninth layer Qi Practitioners, he only had a fifty percent chance at emerging victorious. If the tenth layer vice sect master, or the unfathomable sect master, were added into the equation, he would basically be doomed.”
Qian Rongzhi’s smile stiffened. She had thought of the same thing too. Once the Sect of Clouds and Rain looked into the tracks of the two grannies, it would be rather simple for them to find out that they had been in contact with her. She needed to handle this extremely carefully, so how could she afford to take on any further risks? Her plan seemed elaborate, but she was actually dancing on the edge.
“Thank you for your reminder. I’m still a woman at the end. When I see these petty profits, I become blinded by them and become short-sighted as a result.”
“Don’t thank me. I’ve only said that for my own sake.” Li Qingshan casually tossed the two bottles of Qi Amassing pills into her hand, before vanishing into the woods with Xiao An.
Qian Rongzhi looked at the Qi Amassing pills in her hands and instead reflected on her successes and failures this time. She personally believed she was resourceful, vicious and decisive, but whenever she encountered a significant manner, her narrow-mindedness would show. She was not as great as Li Qingshan.
The distant mountains were layered in white snow, while the crystalline snowflakes fell into the bows of alcohol, causing it to spill.
A large hand picked up the bowl and drank all of it.
Li Qingshan smacked his lips. The flavour of alcohol had already faded, replaced by coldness. It was quite the taste.
He could not see Milliped. He must have run out of patience and returned underground.
He remembered Milliped’s invitation and shook his head and sighed, What’s so great about underground?
From all the drinks he shared with Milliped over the past few days, he already knew this was all due to the Daemon Commander’s order, and further up, the decree of the greatest Daemon King of the Green province, the Dragon King of Ink Sea.
If Milliped returned to his original form and arrived in a human city, he was basically a devastating monster. This arrangement was probably to maintain peace between humans and daemons.
Suddenly, there was a gust of wind from behind him. Li Qingshan turned his head slightly and a snowball brushed past his cheek. Turning around, all he saw was Xiao An covering her mouth, snickering.
Li Qingshan said, “Alright, alright. Don’t you regret this!” Before he had even finished talking, another snowball flew over. When he tilted his head to dodge, the snowball even changed directions, slamming against his face viciously, causing snow to splatter everywhere.
A shiny, white prayer bead inside flew back to Xiao An’s hand.
Li Qingshan wiped away the snow from his face and shot a glance at her, “I’m going to get angry!”
Xiao An stuck out her tongue and fled from the hole. She looked back and just as expected, Li Qingshan tailed behind her closely. He yelled out, “Great Snowball technique!”
The floating snowflakes all gathered in Li Qingshan’s large hand, forming an ultimate snowball that spanned several feet across. He pushed it towards Xiao An.
“Giddy up! Giddy up!” A carriage driver yelled and swung the reins, urging on the horses as they pulled the carriage through the accumulated snow. He wore the uniform for the Proud Sword manor. He was a trusted disciple of Yu Shukuang, the mellow young man who was often sent to deliver items over. His name was Yu Lian.
The carriage crossed through a forested region and arrived before a manor surrounded by snow mountains.
The carriage came to a steady stop at the entrance and Yu Lian said, “Master, we’re here.”
A bearded swordsman climbed down from the carriage. He stood with his head and chest held high with a great bearing. He was Yu Shukuang. His face was filled with joy as he wore a set of red silk robes. He arrived before the entrance, before bowing slightly and knocking on the door gently in a somewhat nervous manner, “Is great hero Niu present?”
He suddenly heard a strange sound. He pressed his head against the door and listened closely. The strange sound drew closer and closer.
“Oh no!” Yu Shukuang used his movement technique and rose up. A huge, white ball smashed through the vermillion entrance, brushed past the bottom of his feet and rolled down the mountain.
Yu Shukuang was shaken. If he had been hit by that, he would lose half his life. Though, that seemed like a snowball? However, he had never seen such a large, such a hard snowball before.
Li Qingshan stood in the courtyard and looked at Yu Shukuang from afar. He asked loudly, “Great hero Yu, what brings you here?”
Yu Shukuang hurried forward to bow. He looked around and was stunned. There were signs left behind by the giant snowball everywhere. A corridor had been smashed through, while quite a few firewood sheds to the east had collapsed.
“W- what were you doing, sir?”
“I was waging a snowfight!” Li Qingshan lifted up Xiao An by the collar, “I wanted to show this girl what’s what!”
With her head of long, curly seaweed-like hair, she just remained silent in an obedient manner. She basically seemed like she was slightly afraid. However, Li Qingshan knew she was afraid of unfamiliar people the most. As soon as a stranger appeared before her, she would become sheepish.
Yu Shukuang shivered. The Tiger Butcher sure was ruthless! He had actually thrown such a large snowball at such a cute child. If the snowball hit her, it would be murder! However, he was too afraid to persuade him otherwise as well. He began to hesitate over what he originally planned to do.
Li Qingshan asked again, “What brings you here?”
Yu Shukuang made up his mind and fished out an invitation from his sleeve. He invited Li Qingshan to a banquet at the Proud Sword manor at noon tomorrow, to celebrate Yu Zijian in reaching the innate realm and becoming a Qi Practitioner.
Li Qingshan asked, “Your daughter’s back?”
Yu Shukuang said, “Not yet. She’ll probably come back tonight.”
“Then congratulations!” Li Qingshan asked Xiao An, “Do you want to go?”
Xiao An looked at Li Qingshan hesitantly, as if she was trying to guess what he was thinking.
Li Qingshan said, “Then let’s go!” It had been quite some time since he had taken her out for a stroll. He said to Yu Shukuang, “Alright, I’ll go, but I don’t want to expose my identity, so please prepare a special, individual time for me.”
Yu Shukuang was overjoyed. He agreed to it fervently.
At noon on the next day, the light snow had just cleared up, but there was not a speck of snow on the square in front of the Proud Sword manor. All of it had been swept away by the disciples of the manor. There were lanterns and decorations everywhere as everyone brimmed with joy.
To the people of the jianghu, even if the four joyous occasions of life were combined, they probably still would not be as happy as breaking through to the innate realm. That represented a whole new world unfurling around them, which possessed unimaginable possibilities.
Authority and wealth might have only been like the fleeting clouds, but a longer life was what all people desired. A high level Qi Practitioner could even live for two centuries.
Now that Yu Zijian had become a Qi Practitioner, the status of the entire Proud Sword manor would rise as a result. Regular disciples would benefit from this too. And, while Yu Zijian was Yu Shukuang’s treasured daughter, she completely lacked the arrogance and pride of a young miss. Not only did she treat regular disciples kindly, she liked to uphold justice and help the weak too. The citizens of Salt Mountain city constantly praised her.
When someone like that received the blessings of fate, others would always feel happy for her from the bottom of their hearts.
However, there were also many young disciples who secretly lamented inside. This had severed any possibilities for them to become the son-in-law of the Proud Sword manor. Perhaps the marriage of a rich young miss to a penniless man would happen a few times in life, but a Qi Practitioner would never marry an ordinary person.
“Sect master Liu, you’ve come! Please come in, please come in!” Yu Shukuang personally stood at the entrance to welcome the esteemed guests. When he saw his fellow martial arts practitioner, he felt so proud of himself that he almost wanted to laugh his head off.
Yu Zijian sat in the central seat in the hall rather unnaturally, receiving everyone’s congratulations. When she saw the various bigshots and uncles of the jianghu congratulate and greet her, she felt fantastic inside. As it turned out, becoming a Qi Practitioner was actually so great.
The banquet began, but Yu Shukuang apologised to everyone and took Yu Zijian to the back of the hall.
“Father, where are we going?”
Yu Shukuang said, “I’m taking you to see an esteemed guest. When you see him, be polite.”
Yu Zijian was rather puzzled. Earlier, Yu Shukuang would not even permit her to be polite when she wanted to, telling her to maintain her bearing as an innate master. So just who was it that made her father so serious?
Within a dim room that had all of its shutters shut, Yu Zijian saw an abnormally tall and burly figure. He wore a great big hat on his head. Beside him was a bamboo basket and laid out before him was a rich feast.
Yu Zijian was unable to sense any aura that belonged to a Qi Practitioner or martial arts practitioner from him, but it did not weaken his bearing at all. It made her sterner.
Yu Shukuang introduced, “This is… Niu Er, or great hero Niu to you!”
“Pfft!” Yu Zijian’s stern expression immediately collapsed.
“Damn brat, don’t laugh!” Yu Shukuang rebuked loudly, afraid she would anger Li Qingshan.
Yu Zijian had already begun apologising before he could finish, “Great hero Niu, I’m not laughing at you, so please don’t take any offense!” She felt very bad for laughing at someone’s name, but she really could not help herself when she saw what the climax lead up to.
Li Qingshan’s impression of Yu Zijian was limited to the girl in violet who followed Hua Chenglu around as well. Now that he heard her talk, he took a liking to her. He studied her.
Her hair was unadorned, just tied into two thick buns with a few draping down to her cheeks. It only made her face seem even brighter and prettier. She wore the same faint purple robes, with a deeper purple band around her waist, highlighting her slender waist as a young woman.
It made her seem natural and gentle, and she spoke quickly and gently. Although she was not enough for him to fall in love at first sight, she was still a cute girl who could make his heart stirr. She could bring ease to his mind.
As the saying went, I hear the jade hair needle fall to the ground through the curtain. You would either be stupid or extremely wise if not a single bad thought crosses your mind. Fortunately, I’m neither.1”
1. Comes from a work by Chen Xuru of the Ming dynasty. It basically entails Ruan Ji, an ancient Chinese poet and musician, lived near a family with a beautiful young daughter, who often tended to an alcohol stall. He would often drink there and when he fell drunk, he would fall asleep by her. The rest is an innuendo with the hair needle falling to the ground, which could be inferred as they’re going at it. Or not.