Chapter 216 – Testing for the Five Elements
Lu Ziyu lifted up the jar of Ice Condensate water without any regard for anything else. “If you have more, you have to deliver it to me!”
Li Qingshan agreed to him carelessly and indifferently before leaving through the door. He never thought that the water he had found underground could fetch such a great price. He was still a beginner when it came to exploiting the resources from underground.
“Old man Lu, why have you been hiding such great tea from us?” A man lifted the curtain and called out.
“Coming up!” Lu Ziyu removed the bamboo sign from the wall and brushed past it with his hand, increasing the price by twenty spiritual stones.
“Zijian, are there any places that sell cultivation methods here?” Li Qingshan could see how Yu Zijian still had to give some thought to the matter. He was in no hurry either. It was rare of him to come across a market that specially served cultivators, so he obviously had to stroll around and buy some things he needed.
Mu Zhicong and the others became even more certain of his identity as an independent cultivator. Only independent cultivators would have to buy cultivation methods. Yu Zijian was troubled. “I’m not too sure…”
Mu Zhicong said, “There’s a store on the corner up ahead. Fellow Niu, it’s quite late now, so we need to return to the Green Vine mountain. We’ll have to bid farewell to you here!”
“Alright. Zijian, consider it carefully. I’ll probably stay for a few more days here. If you’ve made up your mind, just come down and let me know,” Li Qingshan said happily. Since Yu Zijian was safe and sound, there was no reason for him to worry now. Even if she decided to join the Green Vine mountain, there was nothing wrong with that. However, he was almost about to fall out with Mu Zhicong, so there was no point in sticking around them any longer.
Mu Zhicong was rather surprised by how willing Li Qingshan was to part with them. For a moment, he was left at a loss as to whether he was actually interested in Yu Zijian or not.
Unbeknownst to him, Li Qingshan’s ambitions were beyond the Nine Heavens. While he would still be interested when he saw cute and pretty women, such that he would adore them and develop a desire to protect them, he would never become too involved with matters between men and women. He would just go with the flow.
Yu Zijian said, “Thank you, Niu Juxia. I’ve already made up my mind.”
Li Qingshan was surprised. “Really? It’s rare of you to be so resolute. Are you staying or leaving?”
“I’ve decided I want to go to the Academy of the Hundred Schools,” Yu Zijian said calmly, which was quite a contrast to her usual indecisiveness.
Mu Zhicong’s face reddened. “Zijian, you have to think about it carefully. Our Green Vine mountain is no worse than any of the schools that the Academy of the Hundred Schools has to offer…”
Yu Zijian said earnestly, “Thank you for the care and concern you’ve shown me in the past few days, senior brother Mu, but I’ve already promised Chenglu to study in the Academy of the Hundred Schools with her. I also need to return the favour of the Innate pill.” Then she smiled at Li Qingshan. “Niu Juxia, this is what you taught me when it came to decisions, right?”
Li Qingshan clapped his hands and praised, “Exactly! It’s not like you’re a disciple of the Green Vine mountain anyway. You can leave with me right now!”
Mu Zhicong became frantic. “Don’t you even think about it! Without my master’s permission…”
Yu Zijian shook her head. “I’m not leaving right now. Chenglu has received my letter, so she’ll definitely come looking for me. If I leave right now, I’ll basically be standing her up. And I can’t just leave like this!”
“It has already been a month. That friend of yours might not necessarily come.” Li Qingshan expressed his doubt over the friendship between the two young girls.
“Chenglu will definitely come.” Yu Zijian was extremely certain.
“Hopefully she won’t let down the trust you’ve vested in her, or it’ll be her loss.” Li Qingshan smiled. Who said the meek could not persevere? Being able to trust was an impressive ability as well. If Hua Chenglu really did come and resolved this issue in a legitimate manner, it would obviously be for the best.
“I’m still going to stay here for a few days. If you change your mind, come down the mountain and find me!” Li Qingshan glanced at Mu Zhicong. It probably would be rather difficult for her to leave the mountain by then. It was impossible for him to charge up the Green Vine mountain either and face a Foundation Establishment cultivator as well, trying to save some damsel in distress. Everyone had to bear the responsibilities of their choices. Even kind-hearted, cute girls had to understand that.
Li Qingshan clasped his hands and left. Yu Zijian watched on as his huge figure merged into the crowd. She said extremely softly, “Thank you.” She thanked him for respecting her decision.
Li Qingshan took out the pot of Worriless tea from his hundred treasures pouch and shoved it into the bamboo basket on his back. A tender, white hand accepted it.
Xiao An leaned against the pillow leisurely with a leg crossed over the other. She held a buddhist scripture in one hand and the purple sand teapot in the other, drinking straight from the spout as she read.
Li Qingshan was slightly relieved as well. At the end of the day, he still disliked handling these random people. He was a tiger who strolled through the forest. He had already grown accustomed to moving alone.
As he strolled through the streets, he saw stalls and stores on the two sides filled with a dazzling variety of items. Not only were there regular spiritual artifacts and pills, but there were also fragments of secret books and manuals left behind by some great cultivator, or treasure maps leading to some mysterious dwelling.
Most of it was just trash, but it might actually hide treasure from time to time, which would be obtained by someone lucky, allowing them to rise up. This kind of story urged on every Qi Practitioner. However, those who wanted to find treasure here required either extremely great insight or luck.
Insight obviously was not Li Qingshan’s forte. He really was a bumpkin in the cultivation world. He did not like to rely on luck either. He skimmed through everything quickly before arriving at the bookstore that Mu Zhicong had mentioned. He was eager.
What he needed the most right now was a method of practising qi. He never thought he would find a place like that here. Good people really were rewarded for their efforts!
There were two large words written on the simple, blackboard—Book Mountain.
When he entered, he basically wondered if he had entered another teahouse, as there were no bookshelves or books in there at all. The only book happened to be in the shopkeeper’s withered hands.
An old man currently sat in a rocking chair with a pot of tea on the small table to his side. He turned the page before placing the book down and asking slowly, “What kind of book are you looking for, sir?”
Li Qingshan said, “Uncle, I want to buy a cultivation method. Do you have any here?”
The old man smiled. “If I didn’t, why would I still be running this store?” He fished out a scroll of bamboo slips from his hundred treasures pouch and tossed it to Li Qingshan. “The cultivation methods are all on there. Take your time!” Afterwards, he returned to his book.
Li Qingshan unfurled the bamboo slips doubtfully and channeled his true qi into it. A few inky words naturally appeared on the jade slips. “Body Practitioner, Qi Practitioner.” He tried focusing on Qi Practitioner, and the ink seemed to dissolve. It condensed together into seven new words. “Yin, Yang, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth.”
He chose fire carelessly, and over a dozen cultivation methods appeared, and that was only the first page. In total, there were probably a hundred of them. Apart from the Bing Fire Method of Burning Qi, he had not heard any of them before.
After choosing the Bing Fire Method of Burning Qi, various types of information appeared on the bamboo slips regarding the cultivation method, from the ease of cultivation to how effective it was in combat. It covered everything. Even someone as inexperienced as Li Qingshan could basically guess the advantages and disadvantages of this cultivation method.
The scroll of bamboo slips contained the entire catalogue of cultivation methods available at this store. No wonder there were no books around.
Li Qingshan sought guidance with an open mind. “Uncle, I’m an independent cultivator. I don’t know what cultivation method suits me. Could you give me a recommendation?”
The old man smiled. “That’ll depend on what suits your constitution. Do you know your element?”
“I don’t, but I think I’m water.”
The old man said, “I can check your constitution for you for one spiritual stone. Would you like to get it checked?”
Li Qingshan happily coughed up a spiritual stone. The old man fished out a scroll from his hundred treasures pouch and unfurled it. It was inscribed with many profound glyphs. The twisted, winding lines created a simple formation.
The old man shook his hand conveniently, and the scroll became seven feet in length and width. He spread it out on the ground. “Sit on there and focus your mind.”
Li Qingshan placed down the bamboo basket gently before sitting at the centre of the formation. He closed his eyes and focused his mind.
“Let’s test for yin and yang first!” The old man touched the scroll, and the formation immediately lit up, illuminating Li Qingshan. An extremely small shadow appeared above his head.
The old man shook his head. “Fellow, you’re just naturally unsuited for any yin element cultivation methods. It’ll be extremely difficult for you to condense Profound Yin true qi. But don’t worry. From your physique and face, I can tell that you fall into the category of yang.”
It was very late already, but the streets were still full. Suddenly, the bookstore lit up with dazzling light. The passersby covered their eyes and cried out, “What’s going on?” “Is this the birth of some treasure?”
A Qi Practitioner squinted his eyes and looked at the bookstore. “You all know nothing. They’re testing for the yin and yang element.”
“What? When I was tested in the past, the light was only the size of a fist.”
A few Qi Practitioners entered the bookstore and saw a head-sized ball of scorching, white light above Li Qingshan.
The old man praised, “You possess extremely great talent for the path of Profound Yang. Cultivating Profound Yang true qi will definitely yield quick results for you.”
Li Qingshan said, “What recommendations do you have then, uncle?”
“Don’t fret. Let’s test the five elements now! Although cultivation methods derived from yin and yang span everything, they’re quite difficult to practise. They need guidance from masters. I wouldn’t recommend it to independent cultivators.”
As the old man said that, he tested for Li Qingshan’s five elements.
When he tested for wood, only a tiny blade of grass appeared above Li Qingshan’s head. The old man shook his head. This is even worse than regular Qi Practitioners.
When he tested for metal, a tiny sword appeared above Li Qingshan’s head. Only then did the old man nod.
When he tested for earth, a boulder appeared above Li Qingshan’s head. The old man’s eyes lit up, and he nodded even more. His earth element even surpasses his yang element. The Wu Earth Method of Unyielding Qi will do.
When he tested for fire, a small ball of flames appeared above Li Qingshan’s head. The old man sighed in pity secretly. His fire element is extremely mediocre as well. If it were as great as his earth element, then he could practise both the yang and fire elements. The True Yang Method of Scorching Fire would basically be made for him. However, he was also slightly perplexed. Normally, people with a powerful yang element would have quite a strong fire element as well.
Perhaps? The old man immediately thought of how the five elements promoted and counteracted each other. Water and fire counteracted one another, just like yin and yang. If one was strong, then the other would be weak. With that being the case, this child’s water element should have been pretty impressive.
Because Li Qingshan felt like he was oriented towards the water element, the old man tested for the water element last.
Blue light flooded the bookstore. Even with the old man’s knowledge and insight, he was shocked.