Chapter 208 – Recruiting Daemon Soldiers
This was extremely important. As he wandered the world of humans, there would be many times and places where it would be inconvenient for him to transform. The stronger he was as a human, the more opportunities there were openly available to him.
However, if he wanted to continue cultivating, he needed to find a new cultivation method. He felt like as long as he had a method, he could break through to the fourth layer immediately and open up his Yang Linking meridian.
Unfortunately, he was not in possession of any of the five primary methods of practising qi. As a result, he could only stop here for now with the path of practising qi. He would have to resume some other day.
Within the Proud Sword hall, the disciples stood in two rows to the left and the right. They all stared ahead, but their eyes gave away their eagerness.
The weather was cold now, but a layer of perspiration coated Yu Shukuang’s forehead. He lowered his head as he said carefully, “Brother Liu, our Proud Sword manor really doesn’t have any disciples that can interest you.”
Sitting before Yu Shukuang was Liu Fengrui, who had just visited a few days ago. He waved his hand arrogantly, and Yu Shukuang dismissed everyone.
Liu Fengrui smiled happily. “I haven’t come for that. Brother Yu, your luck has borne fruit.”
“All I do is stay at home, so what luck would I have?”
Liu Fengrui said, “I’ve heard about what happened a few days ago. The Pheasant’s Grace mountain wanted to throw their weight around and steal your domain. Fortunately, brother Yu had a great master assist you, but this won’t work long term. As a result, I specially asked my master for the Proud Sword manor to be included under the protection of our Green Vine mountain. From now onwards, whoever provokes the Proud Sword manor will be provoking the pride and dignity of our Green Vine mountain.”
Yu Shukuang was surprised. This had been a long-time wish of his, to receive the protection of a sect. Although there would now be a sect master above him, it would still be better than the times when Qi Practitioners could walk all over him. However, now that he had met Li Qingshan, and a wonderful future was waiting for Yu Zijian, he was no longer particularly interested in this.
However, he responded readily. He straightened himself up before bowing deeply with clasped hands. “Thank you for the good word, brother Liu!”
Liu Fengrui was very satisfied with Yu Shukuang’s behaviour. The Pheasant’s Grace mountain had actually extended their hands into the territory of the Green Vine mountain, so the Green Vine mountain obviously had to make an appropriate response. He pursed his lips. “That’s only part of it. Brother Yu will probably be even happier when you hear the other part.”
“May I ask what it is?”
“I’ve heard that your dear daughter has already broken through to the innate realm. Master has made a special exception for her. He’s willing to accept her into the Green Vine mountain. I’ve come this time to take her with me back to the mountain.” Liu Fengrui was pleased with himself. He had come up with this plan to kill two birds with one stone. It would both consolidate the Green Vine mountain’s presence among regular people and give them a disciple. When Yu Shukuang heard his words, he would probably drop to his knees in joy.
Yu Shukuang said, “About that… My daughter has already agreed to a good friend of hers from the Hua family. They’re joining the Academy of the Hundred Schools next year to study together…”
Before he could finish talking, Liu Fengrui’s face sank. He had never thought that not only would Yu Shukuang not thank him for this, but he would even want to turn it down. “Oh, are you saying that our Green Vine mountain is not as great as the Academy of the Hundred Schools? And you want to mention the Hua family to frighten me?”
“Why would I ever dare to do that!”
“Then why don’t you let me see your daughter?”
With no other choice, he could only oblige. Yu Shukuang sent people to summon Yu Zijian over. As soon as Yu Zijian heard the proposition, she shook her head. “That won’t work. I’ve already promised Chenglu!”
Liu Fengrui saw Yu Zijian, and his eyes lit up slightly, but his face remained sunken. “My master never decides on something so easily, but since he has said so, he’ll never take it back! Consider it!”
“I said I don’t want to!” Yu Zijian was vexed. She disliked Liu Fengrui the moment she saw him from the way he acted. He seemed to be deliberately doing this.
Liu Fengrui’s eyes coldened. A mere first layer Qi Practitioner actually wanted to disobey him publicly. She was out of her mind.
Yu Shukuang pulled Yu Zijian to the back of the hall as he smiled to Liu Fengrui apologetically. “Please just wait a moment.” He needed Li Qingshan to decide for him here.
Liu Fengrui seemed to read his mind. As if he was afraid that his threats were not enough, he added, “The Pheasant’s Grace mountain has already gathered their people to settle the debt with that Niu Juxia or whoever is supporting you from behind, but they were stopped by us. Does some unknown independent cultivator who defeated a single disciple from the Pheasant’s Grace mountain really think that he can contend with an entire sect?”
Yu Shukuang leapt in fright inside. He pulled Yu Zijian to the back of the hall and immediately ordered people to go to Li Qingshan’s manor. Yu Zijian also looked forward to the arrival of his huge figure. She imagined him grabbing that Liu person and throwing him outside. However, the news they received in the end was that Li Qingshan had disappeared without a trace.
Yu Shukuang immediately collapsed in his armed chair and lamented, “What are we supposed to do?”
Yu Zijian felt the pain of her own powerlessness once more. She tightened her grasp around her sword. “Father, I’ll just agree to him!”
Yu Shukuang said, “How can you do that?” If Yu Zijian went to the Academy of the Hundred Thoughts, she would be under the care of Hua Chenglu at the very least. The Academy of the Hundred Thoughts was a place with rules too. Looking at how Liu Fengrui behaved in comparison, the disciples of the Green Vine mountain probably were not as friendly to one another.
Yu Zijian instead comforted Yu Shukuang, “Don’t worry. The Green Vine mountain might not necessarily pale in comparison to the Academy of the Hundred Schools.” Suddenly, she stifled her voice. “That’s all we can do right now. I’ll pen a letter to Chenglu. She might be able to help me.”
Yu Shukuang could not help but sigh. My daughter really has grown up. He said helplessly, “That’s all we can do then!”
In the hall, Liu Fengrui smiled complacently. Once what had to be done was done, it would not be easy even if the Hua family wanted to interfere with matters of the sect. It was good that this girl would submit obediently. Otherwise, there would be plenty of hardships awaiting her!
“The great king has sent me to patrol the mountain!” Li Qingshan’s loud, clear singing echoed through the quiet caverns.
“The great king has sent me to patrol the mountains!” Xiao An sat on Li Qingshan’s neck and also sang along.
“After patrolling the south mountains comes the north!” Li Qingshan turned his head from side to side and sang at the top of the voice.
“After patrolling the south mountains comes the north!1” Xiao An also turned her head from side to side, singing at the top of her voice.
“It’s wrong, it’s wrong!” Li Qingshan suddenly shook his head, such that even Xiao An began to move with him.
“What’s wrong?” Xiao An firmly wrapped around his neck with her legs and held onto Li Qingshan’s ears to maintain her balance.
Li Qingshan said, “It should be patrolling the caves.”
Xiao An thought about it. “Fair enough!”
It had already been half a month since Li Qingshan had arrived underground. He did not make Milliped declare war on the other Daemon General recklessly and abruptly. Instead, he carefully familiarised himself with the situation underground.
He discovered that Milliped’s territory was not encroached by that Daemon General alone. It was being taken over by other Daemon Generals nearby too. They all had a large number of subordinates under their command, yet Milliped was alone, and he was not particularly clever either. It made no sense if he did not suffer abuse.
Li Qingshan gained a better understanding of the importance of territories as well. The underground world was basically a treasure trove. He had found a spiritual vein that was way better than the Zombie Daoist’s dwelling, drank from a spiritual spring that could rapidly recover his true qi, and discovered various strange spiritual herbs here. This treasure trove was spread throughout the criss-crossing caverns. Losing a piece of territory was equivalent to losing some resources.
However, the most important resource was the various daemons. Logically speaking, all of the daemonic beasts and daemons in Milliped’s territory were supposed to obey him in exchange for him not eating them.
However, with Milliped’s non-existence leadership and intelligence, even if he passed an order, these daemons would agree to it on the surface but secretly ignore him. They never offered him any support. As internal cohesion had to be achieved before addressing external threats, Li Qingshan was visiting these daemons one by one right now.
How could a Daemon General not possess daemon soldiers under his command? Li Qingshan wanted to be the leader of these daemon soldiers.
1. These lyrics come from an episode of an adapted series of Journey to the West, which can be heard at the beginning of this video. A singer, Zhao Yingjun, then made a song about this in 2015, which gradually turned it into a part of Chinese internet culture. However, this chapter was written back in 2012, so the author directly adapted it from the television series. The author was basically 3 years ahead of the internet.