Chapter 218 – The Book of All
The rosy-cheeked man shook his head. “Learning too many techniques will instead serve as a distraction. It’s not beneficial for cultivation.”
The old man said, “That’s true for regular people, but with this fellow’s talent for water cultivation, it’ll be much easier for him to grasp these techniques than regular people. Of course, that’ll depend on his choice. I also have a version without these techniques for only sixty spiritual stones. If you don’t want the notes, just thirty spiritual stones will be enough.”
The rosy-cheeked man immediately stopped talking. Geniuses truly could not be compared with ordinary people.
After a while of thought, Li Qingshan made up his mind. “Alright, I’ll take this one then. I’m buying it!”
He immediately counted out ninety-five spiritual stones and handed it to the old man. It was not like he lacked spiritual stones, and the cultivation method directly affected his future developments. There was no need for him to be stingy over something like this.
The rosy-cheeked man and his companions were stunned. He had coughed up almost a hundred spiritual stones like it was nothing. His reaction was nothing like an independent cultivator’s. No, even for disciples of sects, rarely were there any who could spend so extravagantly. His gaze towards Li Qingshan became even more enthusiastic. He was determined to become acquainted with him now.
The old man smiled as well. He took out a jade slip from his hundred treasures pouch and gave it to Li Qingshan. All shopkeepers liked straightforward customers. All the time and effort he spent on explaining everything had not gone to waste.
The jade slip was white with a hint of yellow. There were many complicated glyphs on it. Even though it was just a single slip, it felt rather hefty in his hand.
Li Qingshan tried focusing his mind on it, and the mental cultivation method for all ten layers of the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi appeared, corresponding to the ten layers of Qi Practitioner.
Among them, the first layer laid a foundation for people who directly practised the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi. The contents were almost like a simplified version of the Innate Method of Practising Qi. The actual cultivation method laid within the latter nine layers, which corresponded to the eight extraordinary meridians and twelve standard meridians of the human body.
He skimmed through it quickly. The Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi was truly much more complicated than the Innate Method of Practising Qi. His power of understanding was average, and he was not particularly educated either. Without these notes, it really would be rather difficult for him to comprehend the mysteries it dictated. He had made the correct decision.
“Not bad. This is exactly what I wanted. Thank you for your recommendation, uncle.” Li Qingshan stowed the jade slip away first. He wanted to compare it to the notes left behind by the various cultivators after he returned; he would slowly try to understand it.
“You’re far too polite, sir.” The old man was extremely satisfied as well. He thought of something. “Not only does my store have cultivation methods, but it also has various other books and collections. I even have a few mental maps. You definitely should take a look. If you plan on going travelling or adventuring, you’ll need a mental map.”
With his future cultivation method chosen, Li Qingshan’s mind settled down as well. He could think about other matters now. After hearing the old man’s words, he asked, “Do you have a mental map of the Green province?”
The old man was slightly surprised. He smiled. “You sure are ambitious, aren’t you? I only have a map of the Clear River city here. These are normally enough for Qi Practitioners. Qi Practitioners normally don’t need such large mental maps.”
“Since you don’t have it, forget about it then.” Li Qingshan wanted to ask around to find out how much the mental map that Gu Yanying had given him was worth so that he could have an idea about how much he would have to pay back. He did not like owing anyone anything, no matter what it was.
The old man said in a hurry, “If you need a larger one, you can stick around for a few days. I can find a way to get my hands on a mental map of the Ruyi commandery, but the price…”
Li Qingshan smiled. “There’s no need for that.” He had already thought it through; that entire matter might have been of no importance at all to Gu Yangying. She had probably forgotten all about it by now. Even if he wanted to return the favour, was he supposed to pay her back in spiritual stones? He would only be looked down upon if he did that.
Thinking back to it now, Gu Yanying had specially handed a bag of spiritual stones to Wang Pushi outside Qingyang city. That definitely was not a bag of inferior spiritual stones. It was something that managed to make a Foundation Establishment cultivator extremely excited, such that they were even afraid of accepting. It was probably worth much more than everything Li Qingshan had on him right now.
However, there would be a day when he would stand before her. In the eyes of regular cultivators, this was a distant objective beyond their reach, but he did not feel discouraged at all. Instead, it filled him with ambition.
At the very least, he had taken another firm step forward. Li Qingshan said, “I’m still inexperienced, so I don’t know much about the matters regarding cultivation, such as some rankings about spiritual springs. Do you have any books that specially cover this area of knowledge so that independent cultivators can patch up what they know?”
Li Qingshan realised that he had a severe lack of understanding in this area through the time he had spent here so far. The Spiritual Springs guide was just an example of lesser significance. Out of all the spiritual herbs underground, he could not even recognise any of them. He did not even know their value, or how to use them. He obviously had to make up for this aspect properly now that such a good opportunity was presented before him.
The old man smiled. “You’ve come to the right person for that.”
He took out another scroll of bamboo slips and passed it to Li Qingshan. It was also a catalogue. Apart from the Spiritual Springs guide, there was a Spiritual Artifacts guide, as well as a Daemons and Beasts guide, which truly enlightened Li Qingshan. One of them was a book that recorded the appearances and effects of spiritual herbs called the Classic of Herbal Medicines, which was what Li Qingshan needed desperately. To him, the importance of this knowledge was no less than a cultivation method.
However, these books were even more diverse than cultivation methods. Just the books that detailed spiritual herbs numbered in the dozens. Each book was by a different author, and some of them even had conflicting information.
“What would you recommend, uncle? I’m looking for a complete collection or an encyclopedia.”
As a result, Li Qingshan spent almost another hundred spiritual stones to purchase a jade slip. The name of the jade slip was the Book of All.
Apart from introducing various spiritual herbs and spiritual artifacts, the book also recorded knowledge regarding culture and geography, the detailed history of the Great Xia empire, the information of various famous people and stories, and even miscellaneous gossip like rankings of beauties. It truly contained everything.
With a book in hand, Li Qingshan felt like his future had only become clearer and clearer.
The other Qi Practitioners became even more shocked. The rosy-cheeked man said, “What extravagance, sir!” He had managed to cough up two hundred spiritual stones without even being fazed. Was he really an independent cultivator?
The old man’s smile grew even wider. It was not often that he would have such a great transaction. As it seemed, coming to the Green Vine mountain really had been the right decision. “Is there anything else you require, sir? Though, I really can’t think of anything else I could sell to you.”
Li Qingshan said, “Do you have any books on the classics and scriptures of buddhism?”
“I do!” The old man immediately pulled out a jade slip from his hundred treasures pouch. “This book is called the Canon Depositary. It’s a compilation of all the buddhist scriptures and classics in the world, compiled by the masters of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga. I’ll give it to you for free!”
“Thank you then, uncle!” Li Qingshan accepted the jade slip and was about to take his leave. The old man suddenly grabbed Li Qingshan by his sleeve and shoved a paper book into his hand.
Li Qingshan wanted to say something, but the old man cut him off, “Don’t ask anything. Look at it once you get back!” His expression was slightly unnatural.
Li Qingshan’s eyes lit up, and he stowed the book into his hundred treasures pouch.
PS: My brain is close to crashing. Clearly, strong afternoon tea isn’t as effective as coffee, though the taste is much better!