Chapter 214 – Lucky
Mu Zhicong was displeased. Cheng Jiali immediately said, “Fellow Niu, it’s not easy for independent cultivators to earn spiritual stones. You should keep it for the pills that you need!” The other two disciples added to it as well.
“I’m aware of my limits!” Li Qingshan said indifferently. I had to kill a bunch of Qi Practitioners just like you to earn what I have right now. It’s true that it wasn’t easy. However, that’s no reason for me to let you lot look down on people from remote places. He did not mind being mocked a little, but he could not just watch them mock Yu Zijian.
He said to the tea brewer, “Uncle, give me a pot of your most expensive, uhh, Worriless tea!” Li Qingshan sat down at a tea table boldly, like he was extremely wealthy. He could not help it. He had several hundred spiritual stones on him, and he had a spiritual stone vein underground. He would be lying if he tried to pass himself off as poor.
The tea brewer finally raised his head and studied Li Qingshan. There were not a lot of people who could afford to drink the Worriless in this town of Qi Practitioners. He said indifferently, “Please wait!” He went about brewing the tea.
The disciples of the Green Vine mountain were all stunned. The Worriless tea was a famous tea of the Tranquil teahouse. A single pot came at an astronomical price of twenty-seven spiritual stones. If that was all converted into Qi Gathering pills, it would be enough for a Qi Practitioner to cultivate for a year or two. Even Mu Zhicong would be reluctant to buy a pot of Worriless tea. He smiled dryly. “Fellow Niu, how generous of you!”
Yu Zijian tugged Li Qingshan’s sleeve and whispered to him to try and convince him otherwise, “Niu Juxia, that’s so expensive.”
Li Qingshan patted the exquisitely sculpted stool beside him. “It’s for us, so what’s there to worry about?”
He was speaking from the bottom of his heart. Trying all the delicacies that the world had to offer was a part of his grand dream anyway. Although tea was unlikely to fall into that category, he wanted to try anything and everything that could fulfill the desires of the mouth and belly. Since he could not try all the teas in the world, he would try the best ones. Moreover, his principle when it came to unfamiliar people, particularly people he disliked, was to never owe them anything. How could he make others pay for his tea?
Yu Zijian sat beside him. She could feel that Li Qingshan wanted to stand up for her, so she felt rather mixed inside.
The disciples of the Green Vine mountain all looked at Mu Zhicong. They were unsure whether to sit down or not. They also wanted to try the Worriless tea. Mu Zhicong thought, Since you want to impress us at your own cost, do whatever you want.
Li Qingshan asked Yu Zijian about what she went through after she had been taken away.
As it turned out, Yu Zijian just became a regular, miscellaneous disciple who ran errands after she had been brought to the Green Vine mountain. In the end, when the Green Vine Elder appeared at the entry ceremony and tested everyone’s talent, she was deemed to be the most outstanding.
Out of joy, the Green Vine Elder decided to ask about her origins. If she was just some regular girl, she would have been left speechless already by the lofty sect halls and the dignified Foundation Establishment cultivator.
However, Yu Zijian pointed at Liu Fengrui and said, “I didn’t want to come, but he forced me to come.” She went into detail about how he had threatened her and how he tried to silence her as tears trickled down her cheeks.
The children that Liu Fengrui had initially brought back from the Proud Sword manor were close with this young miss in the first place, so they began to miss their homes. For a moment, all of the children in the main hall burst into tears, turning the formal entry ceremony into something that was very awkward.
The Green Vine Elder felt rather humiliated. He pointed at Liu Fengrui and scolded him. He said, “If other people saw us, they would think that we abducted all of our disciples here!”
Liu Fengrui begged and apologised for his behaviour. His personality was not very likeable even among his own seniors and juniors, so no one stood up for him. They all mocked him secretly.
The Green Vine Elder turned around and left furiously. As a result, Yu Zijian turned her misfortune into a blessing. As a matter of fact, it could even be said that she had turned the tables.
However, the Green Vine Elder did not let Yu Zijian leave, nor did he let her join the sect. As a result, she just remained behind cluelessly, becoming the only non-disciple on the mountain.
Li Qingshan guessed that the Green Vine Elder definitely wanted Yu Zijian to join the Green Vine mountain, but he did not want to force her either. The Green Vine mountain accepted disciples, not enemies. Only someone as opinionated as Liu Fengrui would handle everything so coarsely.
The disciples could all tell what the Green Vine Elder was thinking, so they purposefully approached Yu Zijian, trying to persuade her to just join the sect. Coupled with how likeable she was, she became familiar with everyone in under a month. Coupled with the protection of a group of suitors like Mu Zhicong, Liu Fengrui was actually unable to do anything to her despite being an inner disciple.
“The senior brothers and sisters all said that he’s a bad person. They all told me to forget about him.”
Mu Zhicong said awkwardly, “Don’t blabber, Zijian. Senior brother Liu was just a little rash. He’s not a bad person.” Although he hated Liu Fengrui, he still had to preserve the dignity of his fellow seniors and juniors.
Li Qingshan was truly speechless with what Yu Zijian had gone through. He could not help but sigh that some people were just luckier than others. This luck did not come in the form of a powerful clan, but a certain ability. It was an ability that smiled at the world. The world was like a mirror. If you smiled at it, it would smile back. People could not be born with this ability. Instead, it originated from being raised with the gentlest care and the best education.
Li Qingshan and Qian Rongzhi were not so lucky. Both of them had developed a fierce personality from what they had gone through in life. They used the teeth and claws called “cunning and resourcefulness” and “courage and resoluteness” to fight in this world. Those were the strengths they relied on to live.
Yu Zijian was neither resolute nor resourceful, and her cultivation was pitifully low. However, she was able to obtain an Innate pill from the little adult that was Hua Chenglu, and she was able to make Li Qingshan, who had a heart of steel, travel several hundred kilometers for her. This was her strength.
At this moment, the tea brewer served up a pot of tea. The tea poured into the teacups was clear and colourless, just like water, but it gave off a refreshing fragrance.
Li Qingshan said, “Allow me to toast you with tea instead of alcohol. Thank you for taking care of Zijian.” He drank an entire cup, and the flow of heat directly reached his belly, expanding from there. It made him feel warm all over. The fragrance did not just linger in his mouth, but in his heart too.
Being able to drink a cup of this on a cold, winter night was absolute bliss. With a cup down, he felt like all of his various distracting thoughts had been washed away. He felt languid. Both the tea leaves and water contained pure spiritual qi. It was even better than regular pills. His mind and body benefited tremendously.
“It truly is good tea!”
Mu Zhicong and the others drank slowly instead. They were indescribably relaxed. Their arrogance had vanished when they looked at Li Qingshan now, and they were even more polite when they spoke, just like how they could not bite the hand that fed them. They were not shameless enough to continue mocking Li Qingshan.
Cheng Jiali’s gaze towards Li Qingshan became slightly gentler. She could tell that Li Qingshan was not a broke independent cultivator who wanted to impress them. Instead, he was truly a generous man who would not be troubled by a mere twenty or thirty spiritual stones. That was always a likeable feature to women.
Li Qingshan smiled. “The tea truly lives up to its name of Worriless.”
Only Mu Zhicong was unable to cheer up. Originally, he was the central figure of this group, but all of his attention and glory had been stolen from him by this brute with his pot of tea. He would never just relent like this. “Fellow Niu, it is a bit of a waste of this tea with how you drink it.”
Li Qingshan raised an eyebrow. “How so?”
Mu Zhicong had been waiting for that. He smiled. He went on a ramble, going into the essence of tea ceremonies to display his great knowledge. Cheng Jiali and the others praised him quite a lot.
The two bumpkins, Li Qingshan and Yu Zijian, held their teacups and listened in as they drank.
When Mu Zhicong finished his speech and wanted to moisten his mouth with some tea, he discovered that Li Qingshan and Yu Zijian had already ‘wasted’ away all of the tea. He immediately became stunned.
Yu Zijian said in admiration, “You know so much, senior brother Mu.”
Li Qingshan said, “I think you’ve enlightened me too.”
Yu Zijian had been drinking in small, short sips, but Li Qingshan actually drank like an ox, tipping cup after cup into his belly. You’re drinking my tea, yet you still have so much nonsense to spout. You might as well not drink it.
Cheng Jiali and the other two were glad that they had been fast. They did not forget to drink tea as they listened on. They managed to steal a few cups from Li Qingshan’s mouth, which saved them half a month’s worth of cultivation. The spiritual tea was unlike regular tea, where several pots could be made from the same leaves. The tea brewer used special techniques to extract all of the flavour of the tea leaves into the spiritual water so that none of it went to waste. As a result, there was only a single pot.
Yu Zijian rubbed her belly. “How warm!”
Li Qingshan said, “Exactly.”
The two of them looked at each other and smiled. All Yu Zijian noticed was that the whites and pupils of Li Qingshan’s eyes seemed so clear-cut. His gaze was no longer as sharp as when she first saw him. Instead, it seemed calm and clear, like he had gone from a vicious tiger to a gentle ox. He seemed much gentler.
She suddenly found that it was even more difficult to maintain eye contact with a gaze like that than the sharp gaze from the other day. Her eyes avoided him, and she lowered her head.
Mu Zhicong felt like everything he had said earlier had been pointless. He ground his teeth. “Fellow Niu, do you understand just how profound tea culture and tea ceremony can be now?”
Li Qingshan smiled. “I’m a coarse, unsophisticated man. I can’t remember that much.” Then he turned towards Yu Zijian. “What do you think, Zijian? Do you want to go back with me?”
Before Yu Zijian could even answer him, Mu Zhicong said resolutely, “She can’t. Without master’s permission, Zijian can’t leave the Green Vine mountain.”
Cheng Jiali tried to persuade him softly. “Senior brother.” She only wished for Yu Zijian to be further away, but when two men began to fight over something, it would not just be about who it ended up with in the end. It was about their pride as well. They could not be easily persuaded by others.
Li Qingshan did not look at Mu Zhicong. He only asked Yu Zijian, “What do you want?”
Yu Zijian immediately became uncertain. The disciples of the Green Vine mountain had taken great care of her during these days. If she just left like this, she felt like she was letting down their kindness, and it would probably make things difficult for Niu Juxia.
“Think it through. Don’t worry about anything else. Go with what you want. I believe the Green Vine Elder is a great, understanding, and reasonable senior. Don’t forget about the way I taught you to handle decisions.” Li Qingshan could understand what she was feeling. He patted her shoulder and ignored Mu Zhicong’s ugly expression. He stood up and arrived before the tea brewer to pay the bill, but just as he fished out twenty-seven spiritual stones, the tea brewer asked him a question.
“How is my Worriless tea? Hopefully you were able to appreciate its flavour and it didn’t go to waste, like an ox munching on peony!” said the tea brewer arrogantly. He specialised in tea culture, and he felt displeased when he saw how Li Qingshan downed it cup after cup. He finally could not help himself and said something about it.